Loory: An interesting occurrence since the end of the Communist era in Eastern Europe has been the development of a free press in the former Warsaw Pact countries. In Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, there is also a free, or partly free, press. But recently there have been complaints that dedication to freedom of expression has been slipping in some countries. The New York Times had a story from Slovenia, once a part of Yugoslavia (editor’s note: a former socialist country but not a Warsaw Pact member), saying the prime minister, Janez Janša, is accused of trying to impose censorship there. That’s ironic since Janša is a former journalist and was the leader of Slovenia’s pro-democracy movement in the 1980s. He even served a prison sentence for his anti-government activities. Now he stands accused by 571 former colleagues of trying to impose censorship. They signed a petition against him that went to the Slovenian Parliament and to European leaders. Also interesting, this month Slovenia took over the presidency of the European Union, an organization that represents 500 million Europeans. There are two million Slovenes. The Slovenian newspaper Delo has had problems with Janša. Two of its correspondents were recalled — one from Vienna, Austria, and one from Zagreb, Croatia — because the government didn’t like their coverage. The government also has been trying to arrange a government-friendly ownership for the paper. What is going on with press freedom in Slovenia?
Eastern European press pursues freedom
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