11/06/13 17:18 CET
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The Greek public broadcaster ERT is to close down almost immediately, the government has announced, causing shockwaves across the country.
Three TV channels, several radio stations and the internet service will stop operating from midnight on Tuesday.
The move, which brought immediate protests outside the broadcaster’s headquarters, is the latest austerity measure imposed because of the demands of international lenders.
“With one page of this unconstitutional decree, one act of legislation in one night, they are destroying or trying to destroy the national TV,” said employment lawyer Dimitris Perpataris, among the protesters.
One member of staff added: “They’re laying their hands on ERT – we, the employees are going to smash their hands.”
The government said a new restructured public service would be up and running as soon as possible.
Stunned workers gathered inside the headquarters. It is thought more than 2,500 are to be laid off, and far fewer will be retained by the new service.
Across the country 15,000 public sector employees are to lose their jobs by the end of the year.
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