Personnel at Greece’s state broadcasting company ERT allegedly took control of the building after Samaras’ government decided to close it and lay off hundreds of employees. According to Greek media reports, the employees decided to occupy the building on a 24-hour basis after prime minister Antonis Samaras decided to close and reconstruct the Greek public broadcaster.
In this unprecedented incident of occupation, news presenter and several journalists and reporters opened the live 3-o-clock news with the ERT closure issue and talked about it for 25 minutes.
“We will be here 24/7,” they said and praised the role of public broadcasting. “There is no such thing that a country has no state broadcaster,” one ERT reporter said.
The journalists of ERT use the technical facilities to speak about their demands via the television.
Latest reports speak of hundreds of several unions of the public and private sector flocking to ERT to show support to employees.
Legislative act, my a**
On Tuesday noon, the legislative act that includes also the closure of ERT was published. The legislative act enables the ministers in charge to close down a public institution with a single ministerial decision.
According to Capital.gr, “government sources said that with this legislative act will launch the plan for the radical restructuring of ERT.” The plan includes closing and reopening the public broadcaster with a new structure and the staff reduced to half.
A total of 2,850 employees work at the 5 television channels, 7 radio programs, 19 regional radio programs and several other departments of ERT.
According to Troika demands, 2,000 public employees have to be laid off by end of June. Closing public institutions will make it easier for the government to get rid of civil servants as they will not be protected by the law and constitution.
Crack in Samaras’ government
The legislative act apparently bears the signatures of members of the cabinet that belong to Nea Dimocratia. Samaras’ coalition partners PASOK and Democratic Left vehemently oppose the closure of ERT.
PASOK spoke of the ‘sudden death’ of public broadcasting company and the “party ministers will no sign the legislative act,” according to ERT 3-0-clock news.
Allegedly also Democratic Left refuses to sign the legislative act.
Will Samaras exclude the ERT from the legislative act? Will the coalition break apart?
A protest is scheduled for 7 pm on Tuesday at the ERT in Agia Paraskevi.
PS Can you imagine our post-modern, in-Troika democracy? One minister alone can decide about closure of a public institution without consulting the Parliament… We will be governed by 46 little Neros Germanicus (full name: Roman Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus).