The Greek Parliament voted yesterday (April 29) to reinstate the country's public broadcaster (ERT), following its abrupt shut-down two years ago as part of the former government’s austerity measures, and its replacement with the scaled-down version of NERIT 11 months later. The decision had entailed the firing of over 2,600 employees, triggering major protests in Greece and abroad.

According to the bill, which was one of SYRIZA’s main campaign promises, ERT will cost 60 million euros a year and it will be financed by monthly 3 euro fees. Moreover, some 1,550 former employees may reintegrate into the company if they wish.

The competent Minister of State, Nikos Pappas, remarked that the re-opening of ERT is a victory for democracy, while the new Secretary General for Information and Communication Lefteris Kretsos, noted that it’s only the first step towards the consolidation of the country’s audio-visual sector, as legislation on the allocation of digital frequencies is under process.
Welcoming the decision, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović commented on the indispensable role played by public service media in democracies, by providing pluralistic and objective information to the citizens.

See also: Greek News Agenda: Government Pulls Plug on State Broadcaster