The European Federation of
Journalists (EFJ) is supporting its Greek affiliates in their opposition against plans
to abolish the current health insurance system.
Journalists are taking part in a demonstration organised today in Athens by the Union of
Periodical and Electronic Press and other Unions of Press workers.
"Such a development means that journalists in Greece will now have their pensions reduced for the fifth time in
a few years and will be forced to seek healthcare from a deeply troubled
general health care system that is presently in the red by four billion euro," said EFJ President Arne König.
"All journalists working for the periodical press sector along with
other media workers are the first victims of this relentless attack on the
sector's insurance fund rights."
The health insurance funds covering journalists in Greece are teetering on the
brink of collapse, a result of the government's decision -dictated by the
"Memorandum" with the international financial institutions- to merge
them with the state's deficient general health system, resulting in the plunder
of the funds' reserves and the abolition of health services to the insured.
Indeed in Greece, the journalists' health insurance funds never burdened the
national budget since, in addition to the insured journalists'
automatically-withheld contributions, their main resource is a special tax (advertisement
tax) imposed on advertisements published in the media. As a matter of
fact, the said tax replaces a large part of the employers' contribution to the
funds. However, a recent draft bill aims at forcing the merger of the
periodical press health insurance fund (TAYSIT) with the general health system.
EFJ calls on the Greek authorities to withdraw the relevant
laws and refrain from ruining an insurance fund that not only does not burden
the national budget by one single euro, but provides health insurance that is of enormous importance in the
sector of journalism and media in their role as public good.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235
The EFJ is the European group of the International
Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
The EFJ represents over 300,000 journalists in 37