In an unprecedented move the Greek Government’s spokesperson Mr Kedikoglou has announced the closure of its state radio and television station ERT. Sighting exorbitant costs, mismanagement and the unsustainable nature of the Public broadcaster, the Government, without consultation, shut down ERT and dismissed some 2700 staff within hours.
The Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne & Victoria (GOCMV) in a letter sent to the Prime Minister Mr Antonis Samaras condemned the closure of ERT and highlighted the disappointment of the Greek diaspora in Australia.
Additionally, many Greek Community representatives noted the need for responsible management of the Public Broadcaster however such decision defies rational explanation, in a statement issued by the organisation.
“The links that the Greek public broadcaster had created with the Australian-Greek population for decades are now severed and we are now culturally destitute. ERT was the only free to air TV broadcaster and for many elderly Greek-Australians the daily program provided solace during their retirement years” a spokesperson for the GOCMV stated.
“ERT provided its audience a respectable selection of programs including current affairs, documentaries and musical segments that would normally be shunned by privately owned media outlets. Despite its shortcomings the closure of the Public Broadcaster creates a void in ensuring that the public has access to free and creative programming”.
The Board of Management of the GOCMV reiterated that such actions are intrusive, and affect our role in promoting Greek culture and language in Australia and called upon the Prime Minister of Greece to re-valuate the decision. Finally, the GOCMV also expresses its solidarity to the employees of ERT who will now join the already long unemployment queues.