EuroFIA - News details

20.02.2015

Hope for Greek Public Broadcaster ERT in a Climate of Uncertainty in Greece

The world was shocked by the unprecedented black-out of the Greek Public Service Broadcaster ERT on the 11th of June 2013. Despite the ongoing heroic efforts to keep the spirit and some of the functions of ERT alive, public support hasn’t always been easy in the context of a country mired in painful austerity measures and the resulting human suffering. Now, at last, there is reason to be more hopeful regarding the future of ERT.

On the 8th of February, the new Greek government announced its reform plans. A wider media reform is planned, which includes the reinstatement of the public service broadcaster ERT. The announcement of Prime Minister Tsipras implies that ERT will regain its rightful place on the basis of a legislative process that is now being put in place. Naturally, Greek’s future hangs in the balance at present, with tense negotiations underway with the EU and the troika to try and find a balance that will allow the country move forward from the crippling effects of austerity.

At the EuroFIA meeting in Athens in June 2014, there was a screening of documentary film “The Lost Signal of Democracy” and an exchange with FIA’s Greek member HAU and with POSPERT, member of our sister federation UNI-MEI. EuroFIA expressed its deep concern at the developments in Greece, as well as its solidarity with the efforts of POSPERT in operating ERT Open. Thus, it is with great hope that FIA joins UNI-MEI in welcoming the planned media reforms and the wider aspirations to rebuild social dialogue and collective bargaining in Greece. We echo UNI-MEI’s support of the government’s vision of a holistic reform and regulatory approach, which aims at building a media ecosystem based on pluralism, diversity, universal access and on a commitment to a dual system of commercial and independent public service broadcasting.

William Maunier,  President of Euro-MEI informed the European Social Partners in the Audiovisual Sector of the hopeful developments in Greece at the meeting of Committee on February 11th.

In an official UNI-MEI statement released that day he stated that: ““We are proud to have among our affiliates our Greek member organisation POSPERT. Our colleagues, led by President Panagiotis Kalfagiannis and General Secretary Gabriel Kasimatis have never let the Troika, the Samaras government and the fading away of support after the initial enthusiasm for ERT , destroy the hope and believe that ERTopen is the right answer to the caricature of public service broadcasting that Samaras set-up in 2013. We will continue to support the campaign of POSPERT and all colleagues at ERTopen for a true independent, sustainable public service broadcasting which gives universal and affordable access to all citizens to quality and diverse programming. ERT belongs to the people!”

We will continue to follow the developments in Greece closely.