Dear Mr. Weber,
We would like to express our deepest concerns and kindly draw your attention towards the intolerable behavior of the Bulgarian MEP from the EPP group – Mr. Alexander Yordanov during an interview with a prominent Bulgarian journalist. Mr. Yordanov made unjustified attacks and insulted the Bulgarian National Radio journalist Silvia Velikova. Apparently annoyed by the questions Velikova asked him during her talk show “Politically Incorrect” on December 6, 2020, Yordanov wrote a publication on his Facebook page, which we consider extremely inappropriate. Although the MEP deleted the post from his profile soon after it provoked immediate public outrage and official reaction from the Radio’s editorial team, many media outlets* registered and published screenshots of the text in which were made insulting remarks referring to the questions and the personality of the Radio Anchor in an attempt to downplay the sharp political topics of the interview.
It is well known that the main job of the reporters is to ask questions and the politicians are entitled to provide them with answers. The responsibility that the journalists bear in front of the public requires them to pose difficult and important questions in order to help voters assess how much a politician is worth their trust.
The responsibility that journalists have to the public requires them to ask tough and important questions in order for voters to realize how much a politician is worthy of their trust.
In this sense, it is intolerable for an elected public representative to insult a reporter when faced with an apparently difficult question he cannot provide with an adequate answer.
Moreover, when this politician is a representative of the ruling coalition, as it is in the current case, such actions could be considered as an attempt of putting pressure and provoking intimidation on an institutional level.
We would like to notice that this is not the first case of an attempted pressure against Ms Silvia Velikova. In 2019 she was taken off air by the previous management of Bulgarian National Radio in an attempt to be prevented from covering the controversial procedure for the election of the Bulgarian Prosecutor General- Mr. Geshev. Velikova’s attempted dismissal provoked protests in Bulgaria and broad public outcry and reactions by international press freedom groups which lead to an unprecedented crisis in the BNR, and ousting of the Director General.
We believe that the above mentioned actions of an EPP representative will not go unnoticed and unauthorized by the party leadership.