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IMF representative in hot water over threat to Greek newspaper

A Greek newspaper which reported an increase in public servants was threatened by a senior IMF representative that it would have official information withheld in future.

Acropolis hill in Athens
Acropolis hill in Athens
Image: AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis

THE EUROPEAN FEDERATION of Journalists (EFJ) has condemned the actions of a senior IMF representative who threatened to cut off official information from being made available to a Greek newspaper.

The threat was made to Greek journalist Zois Tsolis, who had written a piece in the newspaper To Vima  in June which reported how Greece had increased its number of public servants, despite the Troika recommending that numbers shouldn’t change.

The EFJ reported that having been called into a meeting with a senior IMF representative, the journalist refused to reveal the sources for his story, at which point the threat was made to cut off official information and press releases from being made available to the paper.

Responding to the revelations, EFJ President Arne König said:

Asking a journalist to reveal the source of accurate information is clearly an infringement of fundamental press freedom standards. Such behaviour of a high-ranking international official is inappropriate and threatening for our profession.

Read: Troika satisfied as Ireland continues to meet targets >

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Paul Hyland

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