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article imageGreek public broadcaster closes doors, goes dark

By Gar Swaffar     Jun 12, 2013 in World
Athens - ERT is the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation and operates in Greece, until now. As of Tuesday Greece is left without a public broadcaster.
Greek government officials are reported by the BBC to have closed the doors at the Greek public broadcasting corporation ERT. All of the roughly 2,500 employees have been dismissed and are now tasked with finding a new job in a dismal Greek economy.
Simos Kedikoglou is the government spokesperson who made the statement reported at SkyNews describing ERT as: a 'haven of waste'
Also at the BBC, Kedikoglou was quoted as stating: "ERT is a case of an exceptional lack of transparency and incredible extravagance. This ends now,"
While all four radio stations, along with the three TV stations, all of the regional radio stations and the Voice of Greece have been closed, they are intended to be reopened in a different format.
Rather than simply being a publicly funded system costing each electric rate payer 4.30 euros ($6) per month, the new broadcaster will be smaller and independent public broadcaster.
These cuts of 2,500 government jobs are the first of 15,000 employees who are paid directly by the Greek government, to lose their jobs. The 15,000 job total was a provision offered in exchange for loans which are forecast to reach a total of 200bn euros.
The Greek government employs approximately 600,000 individuals in serving the population. The cuts to government employment equal a 2.5 percent workforce reduction in government, while nearly one million have lost their jobs in private enterprise.
Protests and strikes have been called for by those affected and those who are unhappy with the closure. A 48-hour strike is called for by the Athens Journalists Union, with thousands of sympathizers and media workers having reportedly demonstrated outside the ERT headquarters in Athens, although there have so far, been no clashes between the protesters and riot police called out to stand by at many of ERT's buildings scattered across Greece.
One former employee is Vayia Valavaki, who was quoted as saying: "I am now a laid-off single mother with a young child," she said. "How exactly is this country protecting me? Why are they leaving me without work?"
As the Greek economy continues to contract, they apparently made the choice to find solutions, does this solution seem one which would be workable in economies such as the U.S., Canada or elsewhere?
More about Greece, public broadcasting, Radio, Television, ERT
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