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Greek coalition gov’t partners to meet again Thursday on ERT – Live blogging from Athens June 19/2013

The crucial meeting of prime minister Antonis Samaras with his coalition government partners Evangelos Venizelos (PASOK) and Fotis Kouvelis (Democratic Left) started at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The three leaders seek a compromise on re-opening of public broadcasting ERT shutdown by Samaras’ order per Legislation Act on June 11th 2013.

The meeting is considered crucial for the future of the Greek government as a disagreement would cause the coalition cohesion to collapse and push the country to snap elections.

6:00 pm

Samaras – Venizelos – Kouvelis meeting started

6:30 pm

Unions of public and private sector (ADEDY & GSEE), teachers’ unions, several journalists’ unions are many ordinary people are outside  ERT  headquarters to show support with ‘fired’ ERT personnel who continue be on air with a pirate program.

Watch ERT  live here.

6:40 pm

the Council of State will hold an extraordinary meeting  tomorrow Thursday at 4 p.m. to re-examine the file submitted by ERT-union POSPERT.

On Monday, C0S issued a preliminary ruling ordering the immediate restoration of all ERT television channels and radios frequencies. 48 hours later Finance Minister Stournaras (who is now the CEO of ERT) has not complied with the court order.

6:45 pm

Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras joined the meeting of the three leaders

6:50 pm

more details on the ERT issue, please, check our other posts. KTG has been providing thorough coverage from the very first moment.

6:55 pm

Venizelos and Kouvelis demand that ERT re-open with the conditions before the shutdown.

Samaras rejects this.

Furthermore there several legal obstacles because ERT s.A. was dissolved – as media report.

Media: “Samaras will offer Venizelos/Kouvelis alternative plans”.

7:00 pm

several scenarios have been circulating since Tuesday evening about the options to re-start ERT broadcast.

The latest scenario – before leaders’ meeting started – was claiming: ERT could start without the personnel hired after Samaras gov’t came into power.

7:10 pm

private SKAI Tv reporter from DemLeft HQ:

“Kouvelis wants re-opening of ERT according to Mosialos bill, i.e. restructure while ERT remains open.

Personnel before the shutdown should get 3-4 months work contracts, until the ERT is restructure.

Restructure should be supervised by a parliament committee with members coming from all parties.

Mosialos ( PASOK Media minister) had submitted a bill to shutdown ERT1 in February (?) 2011. The bill was voted and accepted by the then government majority at the Parliament.

Why the bill was not implemented? Oh wait! We’re in Greece…

7:15 pm

Whether Greece’s new-old-temporary public broadcaster will operate with fired personnel or without, it looks as if the musicians and the choir members of ERT music ensembles and choirs are dismissed for ever.

Who needs culture in times of austerity? Apparently not Grrrrreece 🙁

7:25 pm

A little earlier during a panel discussion on pirate ERT TV, journalists said that ‘the compensations the state has to pay to fired ERT personnel were about 100 million euro.

Journalist and publisher Giorgos Kyrtsos claimed PASOK leader Venizelos had estimated the cost of compensation to 150 million euro.

Whether ERT personnel will be re-hired for the temporary or new permanent national broadcaster the state has to pay compensations. Especially after firing them in what it looks overnight.


7:40 pm

fired ERT journalists and technicians are on air for 185 hours. They broadcast via internet on 24-hour basis.

They occupied the headquarters of the public broadcaster once the government spokesman announced the shut down at 5 pm, Tuesday, 11. June 2013.

As they get paid every second week, the shutdown has also halted their salaries, for some reasons only Finance Minister Stournaras would know.

they said, their dismissal was not confirmed.

7:56 pm

leaders’ meeting continues…

Meanwhile Greek Parliament channel started to broadcast. GrParl TV does not belong to ERT but it was also blackened together with BBC World, Deutsche Welle, TV5 Europe and RIK on June 11/2013.

The three ERT channels NET, ERT1, ERT3 show color bars.

NET’s black was replaced with color bars after the Council of State order.

ERT1 and ERT3 were black until …ehm… 6:30-7:00 pm today.

8:36 pm

No smoke from the PM’s office, no scenarios….

9:03 pm

what are Samaras, Venizelos & Kouvelis talking about since 6 pm?

ERT compromise or snap elections?

seaside or mountain vacation?

pasta or rice?

beer or wine?

Of course there are more ways: President can re-start government-building exploratory talks. and if Samaras won’t manage to build a government with Golden Dawn, the president will appoint Alexis Tsipras with the gov’t building.

Either way shocked?

new dilemma then: double cognac or triple vodka?

9:25 pm

Leaders meeting concluded

Venizelos, Kouvelis will make statements from the parties offices – in 10 min or something.

they didn’t speak to the press, in fact they run to their cars.

Reading their faces… I can say … HMmmm It doesn’yt look like an ERT-decision

reporters do not exclude possibility next meeting.

 9:35 pm

Venizelos: we had difficult talks, they will conclude tomorrow [Thursday] at 8:30 pm

In short: they try to find a compromise on ERT re-opening of all frequencies. He did not say anything on ERT personnel.

They also seek to re-define the coalition government agreement.

Point is to avoid elections.

9:42 pm

Kouvelis makes also statement saying also more or less the same as Venizelos. the two had agreed on a common stance in a meeting before the one with Samaras.


Venizelos & Kouvelis did not speak of ‘ERT’ but of ‘public broadcaster’. Journos interpret this as if the two  leaders agreed not to insist on re-opening of ERT as such.

Maybe agreed on a temporary broadcaster … No idea…

9:45 pm

Fact is they delay the decision and will wait again for Council of State decision. CoS meeting to start at 4 pm – although I read somewhere start was postponed for 6 pm.

Fact is tomorrow is going to be a long night.

Fact is also that there is no point to have live blogging if there is no continuous flow of information.

thank you for following KTG live-blogging




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  1. Thanks for the life-blog! Again!

    the Council of State will hold an extraordinary meeting tomorrow Thursday to re-examine the file submitted by ERT-union POSPERT

    Just like the Greek state is always doing. Court order after court order and they just do nothing. Look at the illegality of private beaches. Look at the continuous saga around the illegal landfills. To name just two.
    The presidents of journalist unions Esiea, Espit and Eter have filed a lawsuit against Stournaras and Kedikoglou, who are in charge of the public broadcaster, for not implementing the Council of State decision to restore ERT’s signal. And tomorrow that extraordinary meeting of the Council of State… If there is no political solution tonight who will force those ministers to reopen ERT? Is there a prosecutor that will walk into the Finance Ministery and arrest Stournaras? I don’t think so.
    It’s the surest sign of a failing state when all democratic and legal rules are just ignored.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      as always while live-blogging I’m half brain dead. From office window I look at the sea, thinking i could had gone for a nice walk instead of sitting here waiting for the 3 musketeers (whatever… lol) -so nicely windy.
      BTW: live may be stopped abruptly as sever plays some games.

      • Well, no seaside walk, but you can now go for that nice ice cold glass of Greek white wine and relax or drown the memory of another day in paradise…
        If only those idiots weren’t the ones to spoil it again and again…

        • keeptalkinggreece

          I see good chance for a seaside walk tomorrow. they meet late, no live-blogging.

          • Good! Won’t be able to follow it as we are preparing to fly of for Malta for a couple of days… No, not holiday, just ‘hard’ work! 😉
            So, please, write a nice executive summary? Thanks… 😀

          • keeptalkinggreece

            as it will be a long night probably on Fr morning. where are you going?

          • Malta and Gozo. To work out a new destination… Would have loved to develop a new one in Greece… But that’s simply not doable as long as things are so uncertain. Pity… 🙁