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Papadimoulis letter to Sassoli & Von der Leyen regarding Greek Service of Euronews

Papadimoulis letter to Sassoli & Von der Leyen regarding Greek Service of Euronews



Dimitrios Papadimoulis
Vice-President of the European Parliament

To the attention of:

Mr. David Maria Sassoli
President of the European Parliament

Ms. Ursula von der Leyen
President of the European Commission

1 October 2021

Subject: Urgent need to ensure the functioning of the Greek Service of Euronews

Dear President Sassoli,

Dear President von der Leyen,

I regret to inform you that there are plans by the Euronews ownership to terminate the function of the Greek Service in the near future. This is a sudden and unacceptable decision given that the Greek Service is one of the languages funded by the European Commission since its launch in 2012. It has to be reminded that it serves millions of Greek speakers in Greece, Cyprus and all around Europe and the world, where the Greek population and diaspora of more than 7 million people is living.

In the case that the company materialises this plan, the Greek Service of Euronews will be the first EU language service to be silenced. An almost ten-year investment of the European Commission will be lost and the Greek Service will be the only one to close, when Euronews is still funded by the European Commission. Until today, the Greek Service has broadcasted all the EU funded programmes of Euronews in the Greek language.

In fact, the company informed the employees that the business plan proposed by the management of Euronews to the European Commission for the coming years does not include the financing of the Greek Service. This also means that 28 employees (journalists, technicians, administrative staff) will be unemployed in the middle of the pandemic. The Human Resources of Euronews has already informed the employees that they will lose their jobs by the end of 2021. This is regrettable, since all employees of the service have proven their skills and integrity in the news coverage especially in Greece, Cyprus, the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean.

Journalists` Associations in Greece, Cyprus and France, where the headquarters of Euronews are based, and the European Federation of Journalists, have already undertaken a series of actions to overturn these plans.

I strongly believe that the closure of the Greek Service is in contradiction to the EU values and the need for enhancement of multilingualism, a policy repeatedly supported by all EU institutions. Its existence serves the EU fundamental value of the equal co-existence of the 24 official languages of the Member States, which is one of the most distinct and important components of the European ideal.

Furthermore, the company`s justification that news from Greece and Cyprus no longer interests the European public and that the Greek language, the language that has significantly influenced numerous European languages and cultures, is classified as the least penetrating, is absolutely baseless. The Greek language must remain alive in the European information channel and the information process of European citizens must be maintained in their mother tongue.

I call you to urgently take all necessary measures and initiatives and exhaust all political and diplomatic means, in order to keep the Greek language alive on the Euronews channel, in that way ensuring equal co-existence of all EU official languages and enhancing multilingualism.

Yours sincerely,

Dimitrios Papadimoulis

cc:

Mr. Manfred Weber
President of the EPP Political Group in the European Parliament

Ms. Iratxe García Pérez
President of the S&D Political Group in the European Parliament

Mr. Dacian Cioloș
President of the Renew Europe Political Group in the European Parliament

Ms. Ska Keller and Mr. Philippe Lamberts
Co-Presidents of the Greens/EFA Political Group in the European Parliament

Mr. Ryszard Legutko and Mr. Raffaele Fitto
Co-Presidents of the ECR Political Group in the European Parliament

Ms. Manon Aubry and Mr. Martin Schirdewan
Co-Presidents of the Left Political Group in the European Parliament

Letter by VP Papadimoulis on the urgent need to ensure the functioning of the Greek Service of Euronews




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