The Greek public television and radio broadcasting company, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) is closing down and thus 2,902 people will be made redundant. On June 11 2013, the Greek government’s spokesperson announced the immediate closure of the company through a legislative decree. The closure affects all the staff (2,656 permanent employees and 246 fixed term contract staff) working at 5 TV channels, 29 radio stations, the ert.gr website, the ERT digital archive, and the Radiotileorasi magazine, as well as the National Symphonic Orchestra and the Contemporary Music Orchestra. As announced, corruption and mismanagement are the key reasons for the decision. Additionally, all the employees are going to be compensated and will have the chance to apply for a job at the new organization (which will launch its operations at a later stage under a new organizational structure and with considerably fewer employees – around 1,200 people). The decision for the closure was made under the framework of the governmental commitment to the bailout creditors for major restructuring in the public sector. The POESY media trade union federation accused the government of sacrificing the broadcaster in order to satisfy troika demands. The country’s largest employee unions GSEE and ADEDY held a large 24-hour strike on Thursday, June 13th. Until now journalists and technicians of public television ERT continue to broadcast program despite the government decision and the order to evacuate the building.
Updated, 18/06/13 Greece’s top administrative court has ordered the state broadcaster ERT back on air while it is restructured.