In a resolution adopted by the European Parliament today, MEPs sound the alarm on the steep decline of the rule of law in Greece. The unresolved murder of journalist Giorgos Karaivaz, the Tempi train crash, and the systematic pushbacks in Greek waters, together with the systematic intimidation of journalists, undermining of independent authorities, spying on political opponents, shrinking space for civil society and media pluralism, are all symptoms of the democratic backsliding in Greece.
The pattern of deeply problematic developments cannot be ignored any longer. The resolution calls on the Greek government to restore independent authorities, ensure unhindered investigations into the illegitimate wiretappings and implement the recommendations of the Parliament’s PEGA Committee. It also urges the political leadership to carry out a thorough investigation to bring those involved in Karaivaz's murder to justice, create a safe environment for journalists without threats and attacks, and speed up the investigation into the Tempi train disaster.
Sophie in 't Veld (Netherlands), Renew Europe's negotiator on the resolution, emphasized that the EU needs to learn from the recent past:
"We have seen democracy and the rule of law backslide in a number of EU member states. We know what the signs are, and Greece is showing them right now. Unlike Viktor Orbán, the Greek government puts up a friendly face towards the EU, but this is no reason to keep EU scrutiny at arms-length. We cannot make the same mistake of wait and see, like we did with Hungary and Poland."
Further, the Commission should make use of its available tools to address the breaches of the values enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaties and conduct an assessment under the Rule of Law Conditionality Regulation.
Georgios Kyrtsos (Greece), said:
"Unfortunately, the Greek government refuses to learn from its mistakes and continues undermining the rule of law in Greece. The EU cannot turn a blind eye to the developments anymore, we need to act now before it is too late!"