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Society

Greece Holds EU’s Worst Media Freedom Record Despite Slight Rise in Rankings

PARIS – Despite rising 19 places in the global rankings, Greece remains at the bottom of the European Union’s media freedom list due to the phone bugging scandal and Predator spyware use.

The Paris-based organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which has sharply criticized Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ administration, placed Greece 88th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index.

In 2023, Greece improved its overall score to 57.15 out of 100, up from 55.2. Scandinavian nations continue to lead, with Norway, Denmark, and Sweden topping the EU rankings with scores between 88.3 and 91.9.

However, Greece remains last in the EU for the third consecutive year and has faced criticism from European media freedom groups and European Parliament committees. “The rise is largely explained by the deterioration of press freedom in other countries, given the meager improvement in the score,” explained Pavol Szalai, head of RSF’s EU and Balkans desk.

He noted that the 2021 murder of investigative journalist Giorgos Karaivaz remains unsolved despite two arrests, with no clear information on who was behind the killing or why. Moreover, 2023 was “marked above all by inaction in the face of systemic problems,” Szalai said, citing political interference in the surveillance scandal, SLAPP suits (lawsuits intended to silence journalists), and weak media pluralism.

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