Menendez Vows to Fight for VOA Greek
“Now is clearly not the time.”
So says the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, Robert Menendez, about the recent closure of Voice of
America’s Greek language service.
The Democrat from New
Jersey issued a statement this week: “The
longstanding relationship between the United States and Greece is built on a
partnership that has promoted the mutual interests of both countries for years.
That relationship, bound by deep political, cultural, economic and security
ties has grown deeper with the free exchange of ideas and information made
possible by programing from Voice of America’s Greek language service.”
He said the service has helped mutual understanding and promoted
democratic values and free-market ideas in Greece. He said he had expressed opposition to the Broadcasting Board of
Governors earlier. “With Greece emerging from an economic crisis that had
profound social and political impact on the country, and with instability
spreading in near-by regions, now is clearly not the time to end a service that
allows us to communicate the best of our ideas and ideals to the Greek public.”
He said he would “do everything in my power” to restore the service.
BBG shuttered the service Monday, citing budget reductions. “VOA Greek has been a strong supporter of U.S. international media
and its mission to inform, engage and connect the world in support of freedom
and democracy,” the board stated then.