ATHENS – The major opposition SYRIZA put forward in the Greek Parliament a demand that newspapers struggling to deal with printing costs get help from the ruling New Democracy who media freedom groups said is trying to stifle criticism..
Some 52 of SYRIZA’s 85 lawmakers – it wasn’t indicated why it wasn’t all of them – tabled the question but didn’t say whether it was aimed at helping leftist-learning newspapers as well and others critical of the Conservative government.
They want a suspension of Value Added Tax – it’s 24 percent on food but the government is looking to lower it as prices jump across the board – the SYRIZA MP’s saying it should be as long as inflation remains at near-record levels.
Katherimini reported they said that in the case of one weekly newspaper which wasn’t named that the cost of printing rose 21 percent on an annual basis in 2021 during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.
Costs of perishables and the printing process have also risen dramatically, they said, accusing the center-right government of deliberately neglecting to support struggling newspapers and their employees.
Most Greek newspapers and news sites are politically-aligned or even affiliated and generally report mostly what’s favorable to the party they prefer, in a form of indirect censorship that leaves out critical stories they don’t like.