Cyprus Mail

Journalists’ union calls for more openness from the palace

general view of the presidential palace in nicosia
File photo: Presidential Palace

The Cyprus Union of journalists said on Wednesday they had held a meeting with government spokesman Marios Pelekanos seeking more access to the palace and called for an end to a ban on questions following announcements by senior officials.

The union wants the restoration of weekly meetings of senior editors with the spokesman, more frequent off-the-record briefings, and end to journalists being banned from the palace during important meetings, and to the prohibition of questions after government officials make important announcements.

In addition, it raised the issue of the modernisation of press legislation, which has been pending for many years.

The union said the spokesman had shown “understanding’ on most of the issues raised and promised to get back to the union on them.

But when Pelekanos issued a statement later in the deny it was one of “surprise”, saying that journalists were not banned from visits to the palace, neither were they prevented from asking questions following government announcements.

Pandemic related restrictions lessened contacts he said, but added that they have been rescinded for about two months now.

Pelekanos said that the public sees the government answer dozens of questions live on TV on a daily basis.

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