Tuesday, June 11, 2013

 

Greece suspends State TV and radio due to crisis, 2,500 out of work

Employees of Greece’s state TV and Radio Corporation have seized the headquarters in Athens following government plans to suspend it under pressure from austerity cuts.



Both will go dead early on Wednesday morning, causing their 2,500 employees to be jobless until it reopens.


Soon to be laid-off ERT employees took over the state network’s headquarters on Tuesday night. Witnesses said dozens of journalists and employees were flown to protests at the building in Athens, according to Der Spiegel.


“From this time the ERT has passed to the control of workers, not management,” said former technical director of the company, Nick Michalitsis, speaking to the assembled workers on Radiomegaro.
The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, ERT, signals will be shut off despite an outcry from trade unions and junior coalition partners. 

 ERT was described as a “haven of waste” by Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, according to AP. 

 He went on to say that they would reopen “as soon as possible.” However, an approximate date was not specified. 

 The conservative government’s junior coalition partner, Democratic Left, said in a statement on Tuesday that it would be “inconceivable” for Greece to not have a national broadcaster. 
ERT employees are expected to protest at the news, with union representatives of ERT workers across three terrestrial TV stations – a satellite state and its radio network stated that they would keep the stations on air. 

 The Greek economy shrank 5.6 percent between January and March this year, compared to the same period in 2012. The country is obliged to fire some 2,000 civil servants by the end of the year and 15,000 by the end of 2014. 

 A nationwide strike took place on Friday during which doctors and health workers took to the streets waving banners in protest of the destruction of the health service, including lay-offs of some 26,5000 medical staff. 
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