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Europe

Greek public broadcasts to resume by Thursday

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-07-10

Greek public television broadcasts are due to be back on air by Thursday morning exactly one month after state broadcaster ERT was shut down, the minister in charge announced on Wednesday.

Greek public television broadcasts will be back on air by Thursday morning, exactly a month after state broadcaster ERT was axed to save money, the minister in charge said on Wednesday.

“The broadcast on public television will resume this evening or tomorrow morning, it will consist mainly of documentaries and a news ticker from news agencies,” Pantelis Kapsis, the deputy minister responsible for public TV, told AFP.

The Greek government’s dramatic shutdown of ERT on June 11, which cost over 2,600 jobs, shocked the nation and nearly brought down the government.

On Wednesday, a backdrop reading “Greek public television” and featuring a globe and coloured waves was being broadcast on the main digital frequencies formerly occupied by ERT.

The government intends to run a temporary programme for around two months until it can hire staff for a new broadcaster by autumn.

“There will be an open call to journalists to work with us,” Kapsis said.

The government said ERT was hopelessly inefficient and ate up 300 million euros ($385 million) a year.

The shutdown caused over 2,600 layoffs.

Greece’s top administrative court later ruled that ERT’s shutdown was within the state’s rights, but it told the government it still needed to have public broadcasts in some form as soon as possible.

ERT’s demise exposed the government to accusations of authoritarianism from international media groups and led a small leftist party to defect from the ruling coalition.

ERT staff refused to accept their dismissal. They took over the station’s headquarters north of Athens and have maintained a rogue broadcast since June 11, with assistance from the European Broadcasting Union.

On Wednesday, the union of ERT staff condemned the new broadcasts as “piratical” and rejected calls by the government to leave the building.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-07-10

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