Greek government’s attack on media freedom

Workers outside the ERT’s gate on Thursday morning who responded to the call from the occupiers that they were under attack before they were violently pushed away by riot police Photo credit: Dromographos

From daily News Line in Britain:


AT 4.15 local time yesterday morning, hundreds of riot police forcibly entered the building of the ERT (state TV and radio corporation) which has been occupied by its journalists, technicians and administrative workers since 11 June.

This followed a decision of the Greek coalition government to shut it down and sack all its 2,500 employees.

About 50 people inside the ERT building at the time of the riot police raid were thrown out.

The President of the ERT trade union POSPERT, Panayiotis Kalfayiannis, and three other workers were arrested by the riot police and taken to the Athens police HQ where they were later released.

As the riot police invaded, ERT journalists on air called on Athens workers to rush to the building. At 6,00am about 1,000 workers congregated outside ERT’s main gate.

Then the riot police attacked them with tear-gas canisters and with their truncheons, pushing them almost half a mile away.

The leaders of the Greek Journalists Union ESIEA and Coalition of the radical left (SYRIZA) parliamentary deputies who arrived at ERT’s main gate were also pushed away.

ERT workers called for a rally yesterday afternoon and demanded that the GSEE (Greek TUC) and ADEDY (public sector workers’ federation) call a general strike.

The Greek government’s Minister for ERT, Pantelis Kapsis, has called repeatedly in the last two months ‘for the law to be enforced’.

From Keep Talking Greece:

7 November 2013

SYRIZA files censure motion against Greek gov’t after ERT police raid

Main opposition party, left-wing SYRIZA filed a censure motion of no confidence against the coalition government of Samaras’ Nea Dimocratia and Venizelos’ PASOK just hours after riot police stormed the headquarters of shutdown ERT and removed the fired personnel.

The motion deals with two main issues: deadlock in economy and democracy. The censure motion was filed and submitted by the leader of SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras himself.

In his speech in the Greek Parliament Alexis Tsipras, described the police raid at ERT as “maximum institutional diversion” which “we are not conceived to accept.” Tsipras added that the responsibility is “heavy and historical”, that it falls on all parties and that each party should take its share.

Tsipras to Government on ERT and upcoming home evictions:

“You raided ERT in the middle of the night, so you will raid people’s homes also in the middle of the night, because that’s what the Troika wants.”

Alexis Tsipras also unleashed a fierce attack against the government’s economic policy.

“The path to economic destruction must stop here and now. We must stop the shrinkage and obsolescence of our Republic. …”

Nikos Vroutsis, the spokesman of SYRIZA parliamentary group, described the ERT raid as “a gesture of political destabilization and an unlawful act.”

See also here.

The Greek language site of the Greek communist party is not working at the moment. Censorship by the government, or hacking by government/Troika supporters? Their English language site does work, but has no recent news about the ERT.

UPDATE: their Greek language site is back on line; with this item on the ERT.

A senior prosecutor sent to inspect a prisons in northern Greece has reported to the justice minister that the conditions he found made him “ashamed of the Greek state and everybody concerned”: here.

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