In light of the Syriza-led government’s plans to restructure the country’s media landscape, New Democracy’s newly elected president Kyriakos Mitsotakis made an announcement today to the Greek website liberal.gr in which he says that “one of the most precious goods that need to be defended in a democratic society is freedom of the press…and the independence of mass media.”
The Syriza-led government seeks to minimize the number of TV channels broadcasting nationally (which may be illegal and surely not in accord with EU standards) and to “reform” what alternate minister for administrative reconstruction Christoforos Vernardakis referred to recently on the parliament floor as “non-democratic” mass media that abuse their “public character.”
This was an outrageous remark made by a leftist government official who appears oblivious to the fact that in a democratic society free speech is a given and that no one should have the right to silence what is not pleasing to some ears.
But this is not an uncharacteristic trait of many Greek leftists who have a predisposition to Stalinist thinking as the political traditions of liberalism and libertarian socialism never established roots on Greece’s modern political culture.
No doubt, today’s announcement by Kyriakos Mitsotakis seems to have been made in full awareness of the Greek left’s tendency towards silencing voices that do not agree with its own views and philosophy.