IMF ‘Coached’ Greek Journalists To Report Using Pro-Austerity Bias

Greek authorities want to investigate apparent misconduct by a number of journalists who attended seminars which were organized by the IMF.

The journalists were allegedly instructed to promote the organization’s ‘advice’ to Greece.

RT report: The accusations were voiced by Greece’s former representative to the International Monetary Fund Panagiotis Roumeliotis, who testified Tuesday in front of a special parliamentary committee on the country’s debt. Newspaper Proto Thema published excerpts from the testimony on its website.

Roumeliotis was cited as saying that he accidentally bumped into Greek journalists during a visit to Washington DC, who told him that they were attending a seminar organized by the IMF. The fund held a number of similar events in the US and in Greece with the goal of explaining its operations and apparently was spinning its work positively, he said.

The former Greek official endorsed criticism by committee member Leonidas Vatikiotis, who said that the seminars were held in an opaque manner and that the journalists afterward became “mouthpieces of the IMF, preachers of austerity, opponents of strikes and public workers.

The committee said the Greek parliament should demand to know from the IMF who exactly attended the seminars and what they were told there. It also said the Greek journalists’ union ESIEA should be asked to comment on a possible breach of professional ethics.

Only one allegedly IMF-coached reporter has been identified so far – television journalist Yiannis Pretenteris, who, according to Greek Parliament President and committee chair Zoe Konstantopoulou, admitted to going to IMF seminars in a book.