Socialists Worry about Media Freedom in Bulgaria

Domestic | January 31, 2011, Monday // 11:15|  views

Leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and ex-PM (2005-9) Sergey Stanishev. Photo by BGNES

"Without media freedom the European Union would fall apart," stated Bulgarian Socialist Party leader and ex-PM Sergey Stanishev Monday.

Stanishev as speaking at a conference entitled Media Objectivity and Media Legislation, organized by the socialists and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

The socialist leader refered to the situation surrounding the controversial media law in Hungary, but also described a bleak situation for Bulgaria.

Stanishev expressed concern that legislative proposals from the GERB ruling party aiming to render regulations on libel stricter could actually limit press freedom and the voice of critics.

He further referred to the multitude of leaked special surveillance records of conversations between high-ranking state officials, in which media are used as vehicles to erode trust in institutions.

"If the Customs Agency head can be as pressured by external actors as the tapes reveal, then what can we say of a simple journalist?" asked Stanishev, implying that much of media writing in Bulgaria is dependent.

On the other hand, the socialist leader expressed strong optimism regarding internet and the rate of its development in Bulgaria as a source of information and an outlet for opinion.

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Tags: Bulgarian Socialist Party, Sergey Stanishev, tapes, media, media freedom, Hungary, European Union, GERB, Internet


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