It started with a test card on Greek television screens and has heightened the bitter row over public broadcasting in the country.
After the government’s sudden closure of ERT the promised new TV channel started broadcasting. It is called EDT and is using the frequency of the station which was shut down. By nine o’clock on Wednesday evening an old Greek movie had replaced the test card but not the protests.
“It is a pirate ERT, a mockery and an illegal construct. We think ERT must be the television of the employees and of the Greek people. Not the television of the private sector and the tele-pirates,” opined journalist Nikos Tsimpidas.
Nikos Michalitsis the former director of technical services at ERT believes EDT’s broadcasts are illegal. “Such a network provider, licensed by the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission, does not exist. Therefore, this transmission is illegal,” he said.
There is a heavy police presence at the temporary broadcast headquarters of the new channel in a suburb of Athens. ERT is still occupied by some of the 2,600 employees who lost their jobs in a row which nearly brought down the government.
Euronews correspondent Nicoleta Drouga in Athens reported: “The employees of ERT are still doing their jobs. They say the broadcast of EDT is illegal and a waste of public money. They are determined to fight it by any legal means possible.”