The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns the discourteous language used by Romanian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) George Becali towards Cornelia Popescu, a journalist for the online newspaper ZIUA Veche in Romania.
According to information received by the Media Monitoring Agency, on 10 March 2010 Popescu conducted an interview by telephone with MEP Becali during which she asked him about the declarations of financial interests he made to the European Parliament, as well as subsequent declarations.
As a reaction, Becali allegedly answered using virulently obscene language.
Popescu asked Becali why he was talking to her in such a manner.
SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said: “SEEMO strongly condemns the use of such obscene language by a Member of the European Parliament towards a journalist. Such behaviour is considered a clear signal aimed at intimidating journalists and an attack on the freedom to report freely on current affairs. Journalists have the right to report freely on all issues of public interest.”