A small group of young protesters occupied Greece's state television channel on Tuesday, interrupting a news broadcast as part of weeks-old, at times violent, demonstrations against the police killing of a teenager.
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AFP - Greek youths on Tuesday interrupted a state television news programme in the latest wave of protests following the killing of 15-year-old boy by a policeman's bullet 10 days ago.
"Stop watching and get out onto the streets," read a banner held by the youths in a silent protest, as the NET channel quickly cut away to advertisements, interrupting coverage of a speech by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in parliament.
A brief glimpse of youths gathered around a news studio was also aired before the advertisements kicked in.
The news programme picked up again after three minutes with the TV presenter making no reference to the incident.
Calls to the station also yielded no information for 30 minutes.
NET only owned up to the incident when its chairman Christos Panagopoulos made a special appearance on the news after the programme was restored to condemn the station's "invasion".
"This was no occupation, it was an invasion by small teams without a social identity," Panagopoulos said.
"It was an organised plan by 25-year-olds who wanted to disturb our working environment... and who knew how to handle television equipment," he said.
The rogue shot lasted a mere 20 seconds, Panagopoulos claimed.
The youths had infiltrated the station in small groups earlier in the day by pretending to be visitors, he added.
At around 1300 GMT -- when the scheduled news programme began -- some converged on his office while others stormed into the control room and forced staff aside, he said.
"This is an open station that belongs to the Greek people... but we do not permit the transmission of messages by people who lack social identity and have no social audience," Panagopoulos said.
"I take full responsibility and apologise to the Greek people," he said.
Protesters also briefly took over two Athens radio stations and a Patras television channel to broadcast messages last week.
Over two dozen street protests have been held in Athens and Thessaloniki since the death of Alexis Grigoropoulos on December 6, bringing to the fore accumulated grievances with the conservative government which only has a one-seat majority in the 300-seat parliament.
Date created : 2008-12-17