Minister attacked for media Iraq advisory

Greece’s largest journalists’ union yesterday accused the government of trying to «nullify» the work of Greek war correspondents after Press Minister Christos Protopappas appealed last Friday for their return, on safety grounds, from Iraq. This drew a strong denial from Protopappas. «We believe it has been proved that there is a strong need for immediate, continuous information on the events going on [in Iraq],» the Athens journalists’ union (ESIEA) said in a statement. «This can only be achieved through the presence of journalists in Iraq, who place their lives at risk… Interventions such as that of [Protopappas] are effectively intended to nullify those journalists’ work, and give the impression of having resulted from pressure.» The minister said the only «pressure» involved had been «the government’s respect for human life and concern for our citizens.» Half a dozen Greek reporters are still in Iraq.