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Greece


-  Surface area: 131,944 sq. km.
-  Population: 10,610,000
-  Language: modern Greek (off)
-  Type of State: unitary republic
-  Head of State: Kostis Stephanopoulos
-  Head of Government: Kostas Simitis

Greece - Annual Report 2002

Greek newspapers are regularly imposed heavy fines under draconian laws on slander and press law violations.

The Greek press is free, but a few subjects such as criticising religion, relations with Turkey, corruption and nepotism continue to arouse the ire of the authorities. Despite Greece’s commitment to Europe, the minorities question - Slav-Macedonian, Turkish or Albanian - remains genuinely taboo for journalists. Certain administration officials show no hesitation in systematically invoking laws on press law violations and slander and in suing newspapers and magazines. Although the courts no longer hand down prison terms for press law violations, legislation still provides for up to five years imprisonment for "insult" or "dishonor".

In early March 2001 the Writers’ Union of Athens, the main Greek journalists’ union, asked the Ministers of Justice and the Press in an open letter to repeal the law imposing heavy fines on journalists in cases of "non-pecuniary injury" inflicted on third parties. In a traditionally pettifogging country, this provision has made it possible since 1994 to sue press organs for heavy damages. Newspapers are regularly imposed fines that have been known to reach 100 million drachmas (290,000 euros), sums that threaten their very existence.



asia countries list
1 - Europe Introduction
Albania
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus (northern part)
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
F.R. Yougoslavia
France
Georgia
Germany
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Moldova
Romania
Russi
Slovakia
Spain
Switzerland
Tajikistan
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Uzbekistan

see also
Introduction
Annual report 2002

Hard times for press freedom
Africa annual report 2002
Asia annual report 2002
Americas annual report 2002
Maghreb / Middle-East annual report 2002