At 2200 CET, just hours after the Greek government announced it was closing down the country’s state broadcaster, ERT’s transmission went to black. Public service radio stations also went off air.
The digital signal was expected to go be cut at 2300 CET, midnight in Greece, but it was continued by staff who had occupied the TV station’s headquarters.
Outside the TV station in Athens, more than 6000 people gathered to express their shock and outrage at the closure.
An impromptu concert was held with popular Greek singers, including Yannis Zuganelis and Maria Faratouri, singing against Greek politicians and austerity. The concert was broadcast live on ERT.
The announcement by the Greek government today that public broadcaster ERT was to close down immediately caused shockwaves throughout the country.
A Greek government spokesperson said that chronic corruption and mismanagement were the reasons for the closure. But the move is the latest in a raft of austerity measures
The government says a new restructured public service would be up and running as soon as possible. Staff have been told they can apply for jobs but it’s not clear how many jobs there will be in a scaled down service.