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Priority reinstatement to work of journalists who have helped SYRIZA to come to power

29 April 2015 / 11:04:46  GRReporter
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SYRIZA has started to fulfil its campaign promises, one of its first steps being to pass a law to restore the operation of state broadcaster ERT that was closed on 11 June 2013. The legal text was adopted shortly after midnight with the votes of MPs from both ruling parties, SYRIZA and Independent Greeks. New Democracy, PASOK and Potami MPs voted against and their colleagues from the Communist Party of Greece abstained.

Competent Minister of State Nikos Pappas noted that it was the government’s concern to restore the spirit of justice at all levels, and that he was optimistic about the start of a "new day" for the state media.

The voting was followed by a speech of president of parliament Zoe Konstantopoulou who urged the Minister to introduce a new bill "for the people who have lost their lives during the struggle for ERT and their families." She said it would be "a minimal tribute on the part of the state to the people who have lost their lives in service." She thanked the former employees of ERT for the "lessons in democracy, dignity and unwavering struggle" that they had taught since the closure of the broadcaster until yesterday. She made her comment in relation to the fact that some of the former employees had occupied the building of the third channel of ERT in Thessaloniki and continued to broadcast its programme from there, via the Internet platform ertopen.

In addition, Konstantopoulou requested that a legal order be submitted for voting to lead to "the full and fair rehabilitation of persons and associations." In response, the Minister of State said that the government would consider the proposals of the president of parliament.

Earlier, during the debate before the adoption of the law, SYRIZA lawmaker Panagoulis Stathis unequivocally said, "ERT should be restored. All employees need to be rehabilitated, especially those who have helped SYRIZA to come to power."

Hours before the voting on the law, TV screens became "black" due to the interrupted signal of the digital platform Digea that all Greek television stations use for their broadcasts. The signal was restored a little later and the company’s management said that the interruption was due to a technical problem. Later the company issued a message in which it apologized to viewers and stated that it would appoint an external expert to conduct an investigation to determine whether the problem was accidental or the result of intentional actions.

The case became the subject of a debate in parliament within the context of the discussion of the law on ERT. Minister of State Nikos Pappas said that the interruption of Digea’s signal was indicative that "the private sector is not a panacea for Greece." For his part, Deputy Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Christos Spirtzis demanded that the two vice-presidents and other members of the board of the National Commission for Telecommunications and Posts resign. In his opinion, private company Digea that is the only supplier is responsible for the interruption of the signal alone and this shows that the commission members have not correctly performed their duties.

It is worth noting that numerous detachments of the riot forces guarded the offices of Digea during the big demonstrations against the closure of the state broadcaster ERT because of fear that the protesters might attack them.

Tags: PoliticsMediaVoting a lawRestoring the operation of state broadcasterERTSYRIZA
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