Greek State Broadcaster ERT To Close; Re-Open With Smaller Force


    Greece’s public broadcasting system ERT, funded with mandatory withdrawals from electric bill payments, will close and then reopen with a far smaller number of workers, the government said.

    Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said that ERT, criticized for being overstaffed, was a a source of “waste and lack of transparency,” and the employees union POSPERT said that 2,600 of the 2,800 workers would be axed.

    Kedikoglou was speaking shortly after it emerged that the government had passed a legislative decree that allowed ministers to shut down public enterprises.

    “The Greek people are paying for ERT, which has three times, even eight times, as much staff as it needs,” he said. “It has ample assets, which have remained unused.” He said that ERT suffered as a result of “management that lacked transparency, benefits for its workers and spending huge amounts on external productions.”

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader, decided to pull the plug on ERT which may go off the air until being restructured. His party, along with the PASOK Socialists, had been accused of hiring hundreds of thousands of needless workers over the last 40 years in return for votes and dumping them in various offices, including ERT.

    Kedikoglou said that a “modern broadcasting service” would replace ERT. The new broadcaster would have fewer staff, he added without giving details. He said that new staff would be hired in some areas.  He said that as long as ERT is off air, Greek households would not pay the broadcaster’s license fee through their electricity bills.

    Greece has to fire 2,000 civil servants by the end of the year and 15,000 by the end of 2014 on the orders of international lenders putting up a second bailout of $173 billion to keep the economy from collapsing.

    If there are not enough early retirements, ERT will be pared with firings. It is not clear how this will affect ERT’s various services, including TV and radio stations. It is also not clear how quickly the process could be carried out.

    A legislative decree was published in the Government Gazette that allows for public enterprises to be restructured in this way. The Democratic Left (DIMAR,) which along with the PASOK Socialists is a partner in the coalition government led by the New Democracy Conservative leader Samaras, said it would be “inconceivable” for Greece to lose its national broadcaster, but has previously relented to demands from the Premier after voicing some objections.

    ERT workers are expected to protest against the dismissals and reforms, as have other sectors, such as seamen and Metro workers, but none of those have done anything to deter the government from sticking with a strict austerity plan.


    1. “hired over the years by New Democracy and PASOK administrations in return for votes”…This is the work of corrupt politicians and it is time to end this practice now..Why hire 10 when 2 can do the job!!!…Greece must change for the better of its people and its future…With no political stability; no one will invest in a corrupt country..Enough from corruptionthat ruined the country, bankrupt its economy and sent people to their deaths for no fault of their own…φτανει πια, η χώρα δεν αντέχει.

    2. MORE CRIMES from the phoney Coalition of Crooks and Thieves ruining Greece!

      Get RID of Samaras, Venizelos and their “poodle dog” Kouvelis NOW !

    3. Samaras is amazing. He is doing what should have been done decades ago. I wish someone would get rid of you.

    4. IT’S A TOTAL AND UTTER DISGRACEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Ntropi sas koufales, gidia, san den ntrepeste!!!

    5. and you’re an ignorant idiot who’s sucking the ass of a corrupted neoliberal politician who’s sacrificing -without any tiny hesitation-the greek population AND the greek economy in order to satisfy the desires of his neoliberal european crooks. You’re nothing but a traitor of your ‘beloved’ country. Hope you feel proud of yourself

    6. Λες και οι ψηφοθήρες που κλαίνε τώρα έβλεπαν/άκουγαν ποτέ ΕΡΤ.

    7. Αυτό που οι ψηφοθήρες κρύβουν είναι ότι η ΕΡΤ δεν έκλεισε για να κλείσει. Έκλεισε για να ξανανοίξει ως δημόσια και όχι ως κρατικοδίαιτη και ψηφοθηρική.

    8. How exactly am I a “traitor” troll?

      Is it by supporting the deportation of illegals that violated our borders? (unlike say the treasonous leftists that keep lobbying for them)

      Or is it by encouraging Greeks to take personal responsibility for their lives rather than than resort to shameless thieving like communists advocate?