The president of European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Jean-Paul Philippot is currently in Athens to discuss the issue of ERT shutdown with Greek finance minister Yiannis Stournaras, who is now the holder of ownership title of the public broadcaster. He is reportedly to ask Stournaras and the government to reestablish ERT signal today.
During a press conference on Friday noon at the occupied ERT headquarters, Philippot said among others:
- We defend democracy & uphold civilization. There’s no Plan B for our values, those are it.
- We have a strong legal foundation for helping ERT continue its broadcasts
- We were aware of gov’t intervention in ERT and we don’t think gov’t should blame broadcaster when it was one doing interfering
- Never happened before, since establishment of EBU, that a channel was cut on air without replacement.
- ERT closure was “unprofessional” as it had existing contracts for broadcasts, co-productions, etc
- he will ask Greek government to re-establish
ERT signal today
- From the EBU perspective, ERT is still considered as a legal entity and a member of the Union, and that the EBU pondered possible legal consequences before engaging in supporting ERT to remain on air.
The EBU president will hand to Stournaras a letter of protest signed by 50 public broadcasters members of EBU, of which Greece is a founding member. EBU is reportedly to offer assistance to Greek government for the restructure and financial sustainability of ERT while it is open.
Right after the ERT shutdown, EBU gave frequencies so that ERT can air its pirate program worldwide. EBU started also a petition urging Greek PM Antonis Samaras to immediately reverse this decision, allowing ERT to go back on the air in Greece.
More than 16,000 people have signed so far. You?
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the world’s foremost alliance of public service media entities, comprising 74 Active Members in 56 countries and 35 Associate Members from a further 22 countries. Members of the EBU are radio and television companies, most of which are government-owned public service broadcasters or privately owned stations with public service missions. It was founded in February 1950.
EBU is unrelated to the European Union.