European Federation of Journalists

Greece: Daily edition of Avgi Newspaper bluntly shut down

Credits: Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP

On 26 June 2024, the daily edition of the Greek newspaper Avgi, was shut down by SYRIZA, its main stakeholder, without further notice after 72 years of existence. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) stand in full solidarity with the workers of Avgi and join their affiliate, the Union of Journalists of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN), in condemning the “sudden death” of the daily edition of the historic newspaper and the impact of the decision on its workers. 

On 25 June media workers at Avgi were informed at 4pm by the board of directors of the President of SYRIZA’s decision to close the daily publication the following day for “financial reasons”. It was argued that the suspension would allow more resources to be spent on the Sunday edition and the website A total of fifty journalists and around twenty media workers are affected. 

The Boards of Directors of JUADN, together with Athens Daily Newspaper Staff Union (EPEEA) and Athens Daily and Periodical Press Technicians Union (ETIPTA) decided to call a 24-hour strike from 6 am on 26 June to 6 am on 27 June in the newspaper “Avgi” and on the website “”. 

Avgi was first published in August 1952 as the news organ of  the United Democratic Left, initially as a weekly newspaper and then as a daily newspaper. It is the first time in 72 years that the media is interrupted

“When we found out about the shut down, starting on the next day, it was a shock. We had no idea about the closure, it was planned without consulting or informing us. They did not give us any information about job guarantees for our future. All we want now is guarantees to secure jobs and the ability to do our work,” said Nikos Morfonios, Avgi’s representative of the JUADN, to the EFJ. “According to us, the closure is clearly political. They want to silence the voice of the left wing,” added Morfonios.

“The leader of SYRIZA took an unprecedented decision for the historic newspaper without informing the media workers or the unions. Although they will keep the Sunday edition, the future of the historic newspaper and its workers is unknown,” said  Maria Antoniadou, the President of the Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN).

JUADN pointed out that similar attempts took place in the past, but were met with strong opposition from the staff and any plans to suspend the newspaper have been thwarted.  

According to Avgi, the newspaper’s board of directors also legally recognised, in 2017, a debt of 800,000 euros to media workers for salaries that have not been paid in full over the past 15 years. Nikos Morfonios explained that the amount had increased by 300,000 euros since 2017. The media workers declared they will go on strike every day until at least Friday 28 June.

“Such an interruption of the daily edition of the historic publication, without due respect for labor rights, is a blatant attack on workers at Avgi and represents worrying concerns for media pluralism. We call on the leadership of SYRIZA to reconsider its position, to consult with the unions and the workers in a transparent way and to guarantee the respect of their labor rights, including its commitment to debt repayment, ” stated IFJ-EFJ.

Signed by

  • The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
  • The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

This statement was produced by EFJ as part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a Europe-wide mechanism which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries.