The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has strongly condemned the Greek government’s threats of legal action against satellite operators that transmit the public broadcaster ERT’s signal over Europe and Asia.
Ingrid Deltenre, the EBU’s DG, said: “We urge the Greek government to withdraw the threats made against satellite operators, and restore the continuity of public service media channels in Greece and across the world.”
She added that the government’s threats are contrary to an offer made last Friday (June 14) by the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to resume some public broadcasts. According to Deltenre, they are “yet another blow” to freedom of expression and pluralism in Greece.
The EBU has taken a strong stance against last week’s controversial closure of ERT, with over 50 DGs of its membership condemning the move.
ERT’s closure has also been criticised by numerous organisations including the European Parliament, Council of Europe and OSCE.
Meanwhile in Greece, the local media reported that the Prime Minister met with his coalition partners on Monday, June 17 to hammer out a compromise on the dispute, which is threatening to split the government and lead to a snap election.
The talks failed to produce a compromise and a new round is now set for this Wednesday.
In the meantime, the Council of State, Greece’s top administrative court, has ruled that the government has the right to close ERT. However, it has also said that the broadcaster should still be allowed to transmit a limited amount of programming.
The government plans to replace ERT with a slimmed down broadcaster called the New Hellenic Radio Internet and Television (NERIT).