Yesterday, the European Federation of Journalists stood in favor of a Greek journalist, Zois Tsolis, who was threatened by IMF officer Bob Traa. Mr Traa threatened to stop giving official information to Tsolis’ newspaper, To Vima. The Federation said in its announcement, “The Federation strongly condemns the threats from Mr Traa to Mr Zois for not revealing his sources. Mr Traa threatened not to give information and press releases anymore to newspaper To Vima, where Mr Zois works because Mr Zois did not want to reveal his sources.”
Mr Zois had published an article on the 24th of June which outlined, with figures and statistics, that the rule of the Memorandum prohibiting hiring in the public sector was breached and that more people than the expected amount had been hired. Mr Traa asked Mr Zois to meet him and to reveal his sources, and disclose how he arrived at the numbers. Later he threatened not to give him any more information as he pointed out that “other newspapers can present figures more accurately.” The Federation pointed out that it is dangerous journalistic practice to ask that a reporter reveal his sources and threaten him if he chooses not to. While in any other case Europe governments and institutions restrain political and social rights, it is essential that the rights of journalists are safeguarded so that they can better inform their respective societies, insisted the Federation.
Zois Tsolis is member of the Greek Federation of Journalists and the European Federation. The European Federation closed its announcement by asking all state and institutional officials to respect freedom of information and the working rights of journalists.
Source: (To Vima, European Federation of Journalists)