Greece Reopening Public Broadcaster

Southeast Europe | April 29, 2015, Wednesday // 10:32|  views

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras (picture) had promised during his election campaign to have the broadcaster reopened. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Greek MPs have voted to reopen the state-owned, public radio and TV broadcaster ERT which was shut down in June 2013 amid harsh austerity measures.

The leftist government of PM Alexis Tsipras, elected in January, had vowed to end ERT's blackout that has gone on for nearly two years after budget restrictions forced the previous administration to close it down.

All three TV channels and local radio stations of the broadcaster will be brought back on air, the new bill reads, according to the Bulgarian National Radio (which is ERT's Bulgarian counterpart).

In 2013, the decision to shutter the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) caused large protests, with the government facing accusations of adding to a mounting unemployment problem. The broadcaster's closure left more than 2000 people jobless, some 600 journalists among them.

But according to the new bill, employees dismissed back then will be hired again if they wish this.  

Annually, ERT take some EUR 300 M to run.

Athens' decision comes as the country is struggling to deliver on its loans to international lenders, with European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials insisting Greece should propose consistent measures to improve its economic and financial situation if its bailout is to be extended.

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Tags: greece, public broadcaster, ERT, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, Alexis Tsipras, austerity, debt


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