Greek Public Broadcaster ERT to Reopen


MPs from the newly elected Greek leftist led, SYRIZA Independent Greeks (ANEL) coalition government have voted earlier today to reinstate the country’s public broadcaster, ERT, which was suddenly shut down almost two years ago, as part of the previous government’s austerity measures. ERT’s closure after 60 years on air, caused then the firm reaction of the European Broadcasting Union and Greece’s top administrative court, while the decision was internationally criticized.

Today, the Greek Parliament voted to rehire more than 1,550 ERT (Hellenic Public Broadcaster) employees who have been fired and incorporate a protest TV station airing online by the fired workers. The bill to re-open ERT was supported from SYRIZA and ANEL at the vote held this morning, while the main opposition New Democracy voted against the legislation. The law states that ERT will cost 60 million euros a year and be covered by fees set at three euros per month. “This government is determined to put an end to the black screen. This government of the left is re-opening ERT,” SYRIZA MP Giorgos Pantzas highlighted hours before the law was passed. According to the first estimations some 2,300 people would form the new ERT.

On June 11, 2013, the Greek government announced ERT would close and all its employees would be fired. The Greek public broadcaster was dissolved by a Common Ministerial Decision as amended by an urgent government legislative act. Despite running a budget surplus on income from a license fee outside the state budget, in a televised statement, the at the time minister responsible for media and New Democracy, PASOK and Democratic Left (DIMAR) coalition government spokesperson Simos Kedikoglou, characterized ERT as a “haven of waste” that cost more and had fewer viewers than private stations. “The Greek people are paying for ERT, which has three times, even eight times, as much staff as it needs” he said, adding that the government was sacrificing one of the public sector’s “sacred cows.”

Later in the evening, riot police forced their way into the transmitting stations and all ERT transmitters were closed down. Using satellite offices and other spaces that had not been closed down, ERT journalists continued to broadcast to the Internet.

ERT consisted of five TV channels — ET-1, NET, ET-3, ERT World and ERT-HD — as well as seven radio stations in Athens, three in Thessaloniki, 19 peripheral radio stations across the country, a symphonic orchestra and one of modern music as well as a choir. It also had magazines, and a website, digital archives, web TV at, some 2,324 regular employees and 792 provisional workers.

After its closure ERT was replaced by a NEW state-owned entity, NERIT.


  1. So now there will be two national TV stations, so people will pay for both? Smart move. We can definitely afford this.

  2. thats what i’m thinking – if Syriza gets the 7.2 B euros outstanding, that will only see Syriza out till the end of the year and given their mismanagement of the economy in their first three months (bad debts have increased by 20%, the surplus has disappeared, tax revenues are down, economic growth has gone negative from a positive 0.7% of the previous year according to bloomberg), there is no way Syriza will be able to manage without additional funds at the end of the year. They will complain that the debt is too high and want a write off – how much more money is the EU to give Greece? there is a 325 billion euro debt, even if they write off 100 billion euros, i guarantee Syriza morons will still stuff up their economy as they have in the first 3 months and continually ask for more. If the EU wants to, they could destroy Syriza by refusing to give greece anymore money – both Syriza and the EU know this – Greeks would turn on Syriza and their supporters in a minute if there is a catastrophic default, Tsipras would have to hide somewhere