Death of state TV brings Greece to a standstill

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Death of state TV brings Greece to a standstill

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The revolution is being televised everywhere but Greece. A general strike called to protest the death of public TV station ERT, has brought the country to a standstill.

Off air since Thursday, many Greeks gathered outside the ERT building to let their anger be known. Many trade unions fear the precedent that the rapid shutdown could set.

“This is a very important struggle that impacts everybody, because the draft bill is not only about ERT, it’s about thousands of other workers too because it’s a green light for thousands of lay-offs in public organisations,” explained Georgios Milionis, member of PAME (All-Workers Militant Front).

The snap decision to make almost 2,700 ERT jobless overnight has shocked the nation. However, Prime Minister Antonio Samaras insists the channel was a “symbol of waste and lack of transparency”, and its closure helped to meet bailout requirements.

“I agree with the strike but regarding ERT, in my opinion, both sides have good points. On the one hand, people are getting fired, but on the other there are way too many of them. And the people have to foot the bill,” says Athens resident Panagiotis Panagopoulos.

Trains, buses and the underground were halted for the third time this year and riot police brought in to keep the peace.

As the strike continues broadcasters across Europe have stood by their side. Franco-German channel ARTE recorded a news bulletin in Greek on Wednesday for internet users.