Greek public broadcaster ERT to be shut down, reopened with fewer employees

The Greek government is set to close down the country’s public broadcaster and re-open it with fewer employees, Kathimerini understands.

Sources said that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has already taken the decision to pull the plug on the broadcaster in its current form and the government has started drawing up the relevant legislation.

ERT currently employees 2,800 people. It is not clear how many employees will remain but sources indicated it would be a fraction of those in work at the moment.

Greece has to fire 2,000 civil servants by the end of the year and 15,000 by the end of 2014.

Those leaving will do so either via voluntary redundancy, early retirement or dismissal.

It is not clear how this will affect ERT’s various services, including TV and radio stations. It is also not clear how quickly the process could be carried out.

A legislative decree was published in the Government Gazette that allows for public enterprises to be restructured in this way.

Junior coalition partner Democratic Left said in a statement on Tuesday that it would be “inconceivable” for Greece not to have a national broadcaster.

ERT employees are expected to protest against the government’s plans.