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Fallout in Athens and Brussels over Greek TV shutdown

Fallout in Athens and Brussels over Greek TV shutdown
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As demonstrations continue in Athens over the sudden closure of state broadcaster ERT, opposition political parties and unions are urging the government to reverse its decision.

The European Broadcasting Union also called on Prime Minister Antonio Samaras to rethink the order, and set up a makeshift station in ERT’s car park.

MEPs have also expressed their dismay with the European Commission’s role in the troika’s handling of the Greek bailout conditions.

The co-leader of the European Greens, Daniel Cohn-Bendit asked: “Is it true that the European Commission called on its troika representative to ask that the Greek public broadcaster be shut down?”

Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the European Commission, Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs answered: “Greece, like all European countries needs media pluralism, media freedom and media quality. We welcome the commitment of the Greek government to launch a media actor that fulfils the important role of public broadcasting and is financially sustainable.”

The Greek government have promised a new slimline ERT rebranded as the New Hellenic Radio Internet and Television (or NERIT), which will be set up by the end of August.

Journalists have warned strikes will continue on Thursday.