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Union Asks Greece to Reopen Public Broadcaster

  • VOA News

Protesters hold a rally outside the headquarters of Greek State broadcaster ERT, Athens, June 13, 2013.

Protesters hold a rally outside the headquarters of Greek State broadcaster ERT, Athens, June 13, 2013.

The European Broadcasting Union is asking Greece to reopen public broadcaster ERT after it was shut down as part of cost-cutting measures.

Union President Jean-Paul Philippot asked on Friday for the Greek government to reestablish ERT's broadcast signal and Internet connection. He called the shutdown undemocratic.

The government's move to take the broadcaster off the air this week has prompted criticism from journalists, ERT employees and minority parties in the coalition government.

On Thursday, thousands of protesters rallied in Greece as workers staged a nationwide strike to denounce the government for taking ERT off the air.

Demonstrators gathered outside ERT's offices in Athens and Thessaloniki to urge Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to reverse his decision.

Samaras called a meeting for Monday, June 17 with some center-left coalition partners that want ERT to be re-opened.

Greek officials say the ERT closure is a temporary measure before a re-launch in a slimmed-down form. About 2,500 workers lost their jobs in the shutdown. The government has not given a date for ERT to re-open.

Greece is struggling to shore up its finances and meet the terms of an international bailout.
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