Peevksy shamed in Europe
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bulgaria has witnessed continuous protests against media control, political corruption and concentration of power. The common enemies are Delyan Peevski who, together with his mother Irena Kristeva, owns much of the media and communications sector in Bulgaria and dominates Bulgarian political life, and Tzvetan Vasilev, owner of KTB Bank and funder of the Peevksy empire.
The European Media Initiative, which is collecting 1 million signatures throughout Europe to push through European legislation against media concentration, has today organized a press conference in the European Parliament with MEPs and representatives of the Bulgarian protests.
MEPs attending, including Tanja Fajon, Rui Tavares, and Stanimir Ilchev, have stressed their worries around the situation of the media in Bulgaria and highlighted the connection between free media and functioning democracy. They have placed particular emphasis on the risk of a dismantling of the democratic balance in the country and a tendency towards oligarchy. They have pointed out that the European Parliament and Commission have the capacity to act, including regular monitoring of media standards in member states as a first step to political action.
Representatives of the Bulgarian Protest Network have expressed the need for European institutions help their struggle against an increasingly censored media and political landscape in Bulgaria, calling the country a “suspended democracy”. Attacks and arbitrary arrests against journalists, independent media, and protesters are multiplying, jeopardizing the right of Bulgarian citizens to free expression and political participation.
On the same day representatives of the Bulgarian Protest Network and the Earlyrising students met with Telmo Baltazar, member of the Cabinet of Viviane Reding, EU Commission Vice-President for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship, as well as numerous MEPs in the Parliament.
Giovanni Melogli and Lorenzo Marsili, initiators of the European Media Initiative, have reminded that the EU does have the tools to act, ranging from legislation against censorship and conflict of interest, to monitoring and ensuring the independence of supervisory bodies. “It is now the time for the EU to use its powers and show it stands on the side of citizens and not on that of oligarchs”, added Marsili, “without a strong defense of fundamental rights of citizens within its borders, the moral authority of the EU in condemning repressions outside its borders, including in Ukraine and Turkey, would be seriously jeopardized”.
Information for editors
European Initiative for Media Pluralism: The European Media Initiative brings together 100 civil society organisations to collect 1 million signatures to pass European legislation against media concentration and conflict of interest, using the legal instrument of the European Citizens’ Initiative. Web: www.mediainitiative.eu
Protest Network is a place and instrument for self organization of active citizens with their own position, protesting against injustice, regardless of gender, race and political affiliation designed as a corrective to any government
The Earlyrising students is the largest student movement taking part in the protests. Website: http://www.ranobudnite.com
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