Note: It was just a few months ago that the crisis in Greece was at the top of the news. The fact that the struggle in Turkey has overtaken it is a symptom of how quickly struggles are developing around the world. The Workers International Network maintains an e-mail discussion list and we recently received these reports from Greece:
Wed., June 12
Yesterday the Greek government (primarily New Democracy party, without the support of coalition partners PASOK and DIMAR) announced they would shut down ERT, Greece’s national broadcaster. The argument was that ERT is marred with corruption and that it operates at a cost to the public sector. First, ERT is profitable, as its employees testify. Second, the New Democracy spokesman Kedikoglou who announced the decision and raged about “corruption” was the same politicians that has requested the hiring of 23 of “his” people in ERT!
More importantly, the decision was not approved by the parliament, but was implemented through a ministerial decree (which is a violation of the Constitution and Greek legislative procedure). The decree is now at the office the President of the Hellenic Republic and parties opposing it have contacted him NOT to sign it. Neo-nazi Golden Dawn and New Democracy are the only 2 parties that have openly supported the decision (although it seems coalition partners were aware of it).
The decision was announced during the day and at 11pm riot police went to Mount Ymittos and turned off the digital and analogue signals. ERT was still broadcasting and used TVE (Spanish), and 902 channels (owned by the Communist Party), among others. A couple of hours later DIGEA (private operator of digital signal in Greece) turned off the 902 channel, claiming it should not broadcast ERT!
ERT employs more than 2500 people and operates channels across Greece, in remote areas where other broadcasters have no signal. It also broadcasts across the world, informing Greeks living abroad and providing a live link to them with Greek culture and “home”. Protesters gathered outside the ERT building until 3 am in the morning and they are gathering again today.
Here in London, a demonstration has been organised to support ERT employees, at 5pm London time at the Greek Embassy W11 3TP.
This is the facebook link http://www.facebook.com/events/551233141581740/551427951562259/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity
This is the announcement by the European Federation of Journalists.
This is the announcement by the European Broadcasting Union.
This is a petition to stop the shutdown of Public Television in Greece.
Please follow #ERT on twitter to find out more.
Please write about this and support us, we have no other outlet except internet and foreign broadcasters.
This is about freedom of speech and right to independent information.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Was at the Occupation of the state broadcaster last night till 3 am. Thousands of people kept on coming. At the headquarters of ERT in Agia Paraskevi where present both the KKE and Syriza and assorted leftists on top of thousands of people who had come to show solidarity to the mass sacking of 3,000 people.
Questions were asked to Stratoulis Syriza MP why dont they leave the Troika occuppied Parliament and stop waffling endlessly and call the people to struggle to get rid of the Troika, he said we are looking into that. One of his parliamentary minions stated we are with the People and we keep on getting teargassed, as if they are the only ones. Tsipras could have asked for an emergency debate in Parliament as Leader of the Opposition and taking into account that neither PASOK or DIMAR even knew this was coming so fast, but did not. GD announced indirectly that they are happy with the sackings as they aint allowed on state TV.
I judged that there must have been more than 50k people that turned up last night. They said the riot police was going to break through but it didn’t. They shut down all digital signals so all foreign media outlets, BBC, CNN, Euronews are closed as well. The KKE is rebroadcasting from its own station in analogue signal the occuppied ERT colleagues broadcasts. Last time the Greek state media was shut down was during the last German occupation in 1940.
Greek TUC-ADEDY is meeting to allegedly see if it will call a General Strike. Another solidarity demo is called for today at 5pm.
Thursday, June 13, From Athens:
“A poster in the window of the State Broadcasting (ERT) Centre in Athens reads, “The revolution will not be televised.”
Samaras’ high-handed closure of ERT without discussing it with coalition partners may backfire on him if they walk out. He is confident, I guess, that he could win an election and also confident that the smaller parties are enjoying their taste of power too much to walk away but you never know in Greek politics. Posturing sometimes means something.”
Categories: workers' struggles