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Belgian journalists protest at Greek TV station closure

Belgian journalists protest at Greek TV station closure
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Gathered outside the Greek embassy in Brussels, Belgian journalists protested against the closure of Greek public service broadcaster ERT.

It was a show of solidarity with the 2,700 Greek employees who lost their jobs earlier this week when the Greek government closed down the state broadcaster.

Protestors handed in a petition demanding that the TV station be reopened as soon as possible.

President of the General Association of Journalists in Belgium, Marc Van de Looversboch, warned that closures could happen elsewhere: “It’s happening here, a few hundred kilometres from Brussels and when amidst the crisis other countries could imagine the same measures…well, this is very very dangerous of course”.

Meanwhile in Athens, the Director General of the European Broadcasting Corporation, Ingrid Deltenre, and the President, Jean-Paul Philippot, visited ERT to show their support for the broadcaster.

“I strongly defend the freedom of expression, and the capacity for journalists to work on a professional way” Philippot said, adding: “President Barroso said this: “The Commission supports the role of public broadcasting as an integral part of European democracy. It is why I am here.”

Philippot later met with Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras to hand him a petition signed by the heads of 51 European radio and TV companies. It calls on the Greek government to reverse its decision and put the TV, radio and web stations back on-air.