Up to three years needed to recoup ERT costs

It will take the government up to three years to recoup the cost of shutting down public broadcaster ERT, Deputy Culture Minister Pantelis Kapsis said on Tuesday as he announced that the new service would entail two national TV stations and one satellite channel aimed at diaspora Greeks.

Kapsis said that the cost of redundancy packages for more than 2,500 ERT employees who lost their jobs will run to between 50 and 60 million euros. He said that the new service, called just Public Television (DT) for now, would cost about 1 million euros a month to run and this would allow the government to recoup the outlay on redundancies in two to three years.

ERT was shut down overnight in June as the government sought to meet the targets it agreed with the troika for public sector sackings and job transfers. The closure prompted Democratic Left to walk out of the three-party governing coalition.

Kapsis also told Real FM that DT would move into the ERT headquarters, cleared of protesters last week, in about two weeks’ time, after Finance Ministry officials and technicians have finished checking the equipment in the building. The inspectors will assess whether any of ERT’s equipment was stolen or damaged. Sacked employees who continued to broadcast from the building even after June’s shutdown vehemently deny that any vandalism or theft took place.

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