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Commission and EPP say Greek Journalists' Arrest is Against European Values

The European Commission and the European People’s Party condemned the arrest of three journalists from Greek newspaper Fileleftheros as threat to the rule-of-law, a New Europe report says.
Fileleftheros’ chief editor, publisher, and senior political reporter were detained following a libel suit by Defense Minister Panos Kammenos after an article was published on September 23 about the alleged mishandling of EU funds allocated for refugees. Kammenos is also chief of junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL).
The three men were taken to the prosecutor’s office where they were informed that they were being charged with libel.
European Commission deputy spokeswoman Mina Andreeva stated that under no circumstances should the press ever be intimidated or arbitrarily arrested. “Europe must always be a place where freedom of the press is sacrosanct. Too many of our journalists are intimidated, attacked, and murdered. There is no democracy without a free press.”
“We have to make sure that we have institutions such as a functioning rule of law that can seek justice. This is something up to the national Member States,” said Andreeva. “What we try to ensure at the EU level is a system of checks and balances that function so journalists are safe to do their work.”
Manfred Weber, leader of the European People’s Party (EPP) parliament group  tweeted on September 24: “The arrest and detention of the Greek journalists is both appalling and against European values. Freedom of the press is one of the fundamental pillars of democracy and should be respected and guarded by all.”
Meanwhile Greek opposition parties slammed Kammenos for his act. The Greek journalists association also condemned the detention of the three men.

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