Greece: Journalists are not Civil Servants, Says the EFJ

Today the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ),

the European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) voiced

its opposition to the government’s plans to integrate journalists working in

public broadcasting and National News Agencies in the payroll of civil



“Working in public media does not mean that you are a

civil servant, quite the contrary: journalists are accountable to the public

and they need to be independent politically and economically from the

government,” said the EFJ President Arne König. “It would be a very bad signal

for journalists’ credibility and independence if a member country of the European

Union would merge journalists with the rest of the public sector.”


The Greek

government, under the pressure of international and European monetary

institutions, wants to integrate all employees of the public media in a single

unified payroll for all the public sector. This means that journalists employed

by ERT (Greek Public Television) and ANA-MPA (Athens – Macedonian News Agency)

would be considered as civil servants, but also that they would not be covered

anymore by their current collective agreement . 


“We feel that

our ‘classification’ to the status of a civil servant is detrimental to our

role as independent journalists,” say the EFJ affiliates, the Journalists Union

of Athens Daily Newspaper and the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace

Daily Newspaper. “Journalists working in public media need to have the

guarantee of their freedom to report independently in a time when the Greek

audience requires honest, level-headed and unbiased information. This freedom

is also ensured through the current National Collective Agreement for



The EFJ asks

Elias Modsialos, the Government’s Spokesman and State Minister responsible for Press Matters,

to take these views into account and it reminds Greek authorities that the

independence of public broadcasting is recognised by the Council of Europe and

by binding EU case-law.

For more information, please contact EFJ on + 32 2 235 22 00
The EFJ represents more than 260.000 members in over 30 countries