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Greek government suspends State TV, Radio

category international | rights and freedoms | news report author Wednesday June 12, 2013 15:19author by Stuart Report this post to the editors

A modern coup? Greek national broadcaster summarily suspended with immediate effect

The government of Greece has condemned "inefficiency, opacity and scandal", suspending its (profitable but critical) state broadcaster. ERT (Hellenic Radio-Television) is the state-funded national broadcaster in Greece. The Greek government summarily suspended ERT with immediate effect last night, suspending all 2,500 employees (and an additional 250 freelancers) without pay.

ERT buildings have been occupied by the former state employees who are continuing to produce programmes for broadcast, which are being released through internet feeds and some Spanish television stations.

A petition has been started by AVAAZ at http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_the_shutdown_of_P...reece

A modern day coup in Greece? The Colonels descendents silence broadcast critics.
A modern day coup in Greece? The Colonels descendents silence broadcast critics.

The decision to close down ERT was taken by conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, without discussion within or approval by parliament. The shutdown was scheduled for midnight Tuesday, but was brought forward to 11 pm in order to prevent last-minute emotional on-air statements from being broadcast.

Right-wing commentators have described ERT as scandalous, opaque and a drain on public finances - one widely-quoted statement says that ERT adds between 10% and 30% to Greek consumers electricity bills (the Greek state broadcaster is funded by a levy on electricity bills). The actual levy is in fact €4.30 per DEI (electricity) consumer per month, considerably less than the cost of a BBC licence in the UK or RTE license in Ireland. For this, the public receives 3 national television stations and 5 radio stations, including an international shortwave broadcast for overseas listeners.

Far from being a drain on the public finances, ERT is one of the few elements of the Greek public service that is profit-making, contrinuting regukar revenue to the Greek government every year.

More details can be found in various sites including the Hollywood Reporter ( http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/supporters-greek-...67499 ), with breaking comments from ERT employees on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ert )

A petition has been started to support ERT state employees at AVAAZ http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_the_shutdown_of_P...reece

Related Link: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_the_shutdown_of_P...reece
author by Tpublication date Thu Jun 13, 2013 00:48Report this post to the editors

No doubt they were closed down because they actually aired critical pieces and I would suspect none of the commercial stations do anything of the sort.

author by fredpublication date Thu Jun 13, 2013 00:57Report this post to the editors

AVAAZ is a dodgy "clicktivist" organisation backed by George Soros.

Some info here:
http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/avaaz-org-and-...rors/

author by Big Earspublication date Thu Jun 13, 2013 02:51Report this post to the editors

Is this the most dramatic thing to hit a national broadcaster since Conor Cruise O'Brien did you-know-what to RTE broadcasting in 1973?

author by Takipublication date Thu Jun 13, 2013 05:54Report this post to the editors

One poster in ERT reads "the revolution will not be televised", many ERT workers are continuing to broadcast on Voice of Greece shortwave and broadband - government has cut all phonelines, workers remain resourceful to output through other channels.

We should not criticise too much the private channels because Greece has excellent market in printed and broadcaster news with many outlets, more diversity than most EU countries, but earlier commenter is right that private TV and radio is less critical and lighter weight news cover.

Today Thursday is a day of national strike with many protests at the ERT offices, public squares and outside the government. People of all parties have fears that this kind of a silencing is like the bad days of the seventies when the government broadcasted with tanks in the streets to underline their messages.

author by Tpublication date Thu Jun 13, 2013 09:53Report this post to the editors

Perhaps AVAAZ are just jumping on the bandwagon here. A lot of these "sponsored" movements setup by leading capitalists and foreign intelligence agencies go with the idea that when the horses have bolted, to run with them and by getting out in front, then they can carefully stir them off in the "safe" directions. In a sense what they do is rather the wave rather than oppose it.

author by Takipublication date Thu Jun 13, 2013 14:55Report this post to the editors

Greece, to a greater extent than Ireland, is a country in crisis. People are suffering, unable to pay debts to banks, to keep their cars or some people who can not even feed their families. The Greek people need solidarity and support for real solutions to this crisis.

The Greek people do not need AVAAZ is this or that arguments, they do not need Jean-Paul Philippot (the European Broadcasting Union) telling the capitalist bosses in Europe to "order" Samaras to change his mind on this decision. (Yes, Samaras should change his mind, must change his mind, but not because threats from outside.)

The only thing saving many Greeks from real poverty and starvation is that everyone in the cities is sharing the same fate, everyone is poor and everyone can not pay the banks. ERT has been mostly a voice of reasoned opinion and a channel for debate about the future of Greece, when other broadcastings are about shopping, music and famous faces. It even has some good political comedy, in which M. Samaras is one of the running jokes, but also M. Venizelos was a running - or even limping - joke too.

author by Didipublication date Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:07Report this post to the editors

Thanks to generosity and support of the European Broadcasting Union the news of NET, from ERT Thessaloniki, is being broadcast since yesterday evening.

Despite government orders and cutting of the broadband, NET news from ERT Thessaloniki continues to be produced by the suspended employees and sent to EBU. The programme is on Hotbird 13A (Europe), APSTAR 7 (Asia) and Intelsat 19 / Optus D2 (Australia)

author by Takipublication date Mon Jun 17, 2013 21:20Report this post to the editors

The Administrative Court of Athens has just (Monday evening) declared in favour of suspending the decision of Samaras. All the talks between parties are now not relevant - ERT may continue broadcasting. All staff - we hope - are not any longer suspended.

This is temporary. The court decision is until ERT is replaced by nERiT, when Samaras plans can resume to sack all the state employees and invite them to apply for which of their own jobs still remain, at lower wages.

(nERiT is a scheme worthy of a child, ERT but it is [n]ew and it has [i]nternet, makes nERiT)

Rebranding - by a five year old child (with business plans to match)
Rebranding - by a five year old child (with business plans to match)

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