Greeks protest in Brussels over ERT shutdown

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Greeks protest in Brussels over ERT shutdown

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Protesters have gathered outside the Greek embassy in Brussels to voice their anger at the government’s decision to pull the plug on state broadcaster ERT.

Demonstrators told euronews that it was another example of how Greece’s sovereignty had been surrendered to its international creditors.

“It’s as if we are being colonised by an external power,” said one protester.

But Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly denied the EU executive forced Athens to shut down ERT.

“The decision of the Greek authorities should be seen in the context of the major and necessary efforts that the authorities are taking to modernise the Greek economy, those include improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector,” he said.

That explanation has been rejected by ERT journalists, who insist Brussels demanded the government close the channel.

Vangelis Demiris, a Brussels-based ERT correspondent said: “The Commission, with the rest of the troika, called for the sackings.”

“Greece has bowed to the demands of the troika; 2,656 people have been sacked. We’ll see in the coming weeks whether there will be any more unpleasant surprises,” he added.

The troika is the collective name for the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central bank – the organisations overseeing Greece’s bailout.