ERR Appeals to EBU on Behalf of Greek Public Broadcaster ({{commentsTotal}})

An empty hallway in the offices of ERT
An empty hallway in the offices of ERT Source: Photo: Reuters/Scanpix

Estonian public broadcaster ERR, the operator of this site, has come out in support of its Greek counterpart ERT, which was shut down by the government on Tuesday in a radical downsizing bid. 

"Estonian Public Broadcasting is extremely concerned over the Greek government’s decision to shut down the public broadcaster ERT with immediate effect and without any preliminary discussions in the parliament suitable to a democratic state. This undemocratic and thoroughly unprofessional decision by the Greek government has destroyed public service broadcasters’ most important principle in a democratic state and by that we mean the independence of the public service media from the government," said Margus Allikmaa, the chairman of ERR's board, today in a statement to the European Broadcasting Union's president, Jean-Paul Philippot.

"Estonian Public Broadcasting supports the common statement by EBU members, which will be sent to the Greek prime minister. In this statement we must demand the immediate reversal of this decision and allowing ERT to go back on the air," he said.

The decision, taken ostensibly to pare down public sector workforce and comply with the stringent rules imposed by lenders, would mean the loss of 2,700 jobs at ERT. The state-funded outlet has occasionally been accused of being a mouthpiece for the government but tends to conform to the democratic public broadcasting model, with a particularly good regional and cultural news presence.