News of: Tuesday, October 24 2006,

Netherlands has highest position on press freedom list

The yearly listing of Reporters without Borders has the Netherlands on top as the country with the highest degree of freedom of the press.

Holland shares the number 1 position with Finland, Iceland and Ireland. From these countries there is no recorded censorship, threats, intimidation or physical reprisals directed against journalists.

Generally, Northern Europe tops the list, and all first 16 countries on the list are European. The first non-European countries on the list are Canada and Bolivia (also on 16, with Austria).

Denmark dropped sharply on the list, after the row having to do with the Mohammed cartoons, published in a Danish newspaper. The USA also went down on the list (53, with Croatia and Tonga), mainly because of actions taken by the government because of the 'War on Terror'.

Ukraine is the lowest European country on the list (105), and Poland the lowest member of the European Union (58).