Greek public TV station ERT is making the news but has been denied the chance to broadcast it. There is a vast reservoir of support for the workers after the sudden shut down of the station. Employees have occupied the building and as euronews correspondent Stamatis Giannisis in the building reports they are digging in.
“In spite of government threats to prosecute for trespass anyone who is here inside broadcasting house, the employees have taken over the building and its surrounds and are working shifts to guard the premises in order to prevent what they say is a possible dawn raid by police,” he says.
The public broadcaster has had its critics. Its three channels have a combined audience of just 13 percent but it has provided a vital link to Greek communities beyond the mainland.
One worker voiced the feelings of his colleagues: “The police can’t intervene because the people are protecting us and we will protect the building from any possible sabotage, that is our duty.”
Another questioned the government’s right to shut the station down: “We employees here believe ERT is still alive and kicking. It does not belong to the government, it can’t close it down as the government doesn’t own it.”
Reports and interviews compiled in ERT are now being streamed live on the net. Analysts believe what is happening with the broadcaster is a more immediate threat to the government than the financial downgrade.