Greek Public Broadcasting Belongs to the Greek People - Solidarity Protest in Brussels

Today the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and UNI Global Union Media Entertainment & Arts (UNI-MEI), together with their member organisations in Belgium, expressed their solidarity with the Greek journalists, media workers and citizens who are fighting for the independence of the public media in Greece and resist the closure of the public broadcaster ERT. 

At a rally outside the Greek Embassy in, Brussels, Belgium, the organisations applauded the hard work and spirit of Greek journalists, media workers and unions and called on Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, to reverse this incomprehensible and dangerous decision immediately. IFJ/EFJ and UNI have called for ERT to go back on the air and the rights of the journalists and media workers respected. Any reform of the ERT needs to be based on dialogue with the workers and their representative organisations.

IFJ General Secretary, Beth Costa, said: "This decision is simply absurd. It is a major blow to democracy, to media pluralism and to journalism as a public good in Greece, depriving citizens of their right to level-headed and unbiased information. What happened to the staff from ERT breaks our hearts, it makes us angry but most of all makes us determined to stand alongside them to call for this decision to be reversed."

UNI Europa, Regional Secretary, Oliver Roethig said "Greece needs ERT, Greek citizens need ERT, and most importantly, Greek democracy needs ERT. It is unacceptable that a pillar of media democracy and cultural diversity in the European and international audiovisual landscapes is forced to close as a response to the EU and Troika's demands to meet the goals of a failed austerity policy."

Luc Vandenhoeck, General Sceretary of ACOD-VRT, the media workers union at the Belgium Broadcaster VRT said "All our unions stand in solidarity with colleagues at ERT and citizens in Greece. This is a call for resistance to the diktat of the Troika and colleagues across the world will continue to take actions to help defend public service broadcasting in Greece."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries

UNI MEI represents 140 unions and guilds and 300 000 workers in the media and entertainment industries in over 70 countries worldwide