Greek police remove rogue media employees

2013-11-07 07:51
ERT journalists and technicians prior to the closure of the media house.  (Dimitris Rapakousis, AFP)

ERT journalists and technicians prior to the closure of the media house. (Dimitris Rapakousis, AFP)

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Athens - Greek riot police launched the evacuation of the occupied headquarters of former public broadcaster ERT, in a northern Athens suburb, early on Thursday, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Representative of the ERT employees union Pospert Nikos Tsimbidas confirmed to AFP that he was arrested, while police went through every single room of the building and pushed away some 200 people protesting outside the premises.

The state-run Athens News Agency reported police picked up another three former ERT employees, including the head of Pospert, journalist Panagiotis Kalfagiannis.

Disgruntled former employees have been occupying the building since the government's shock shutdown of ERT on 11 June, which made some 2 600 people redundant overnight.

The closure caused an international outcry and nearly brought down the coalition government of conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras after one of its allies defected over the row.

Arguing that ERT ate up $406m annually, conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has repeatedly refused to reinstate it in its previous form.

The new broadcaster Nerit is not expected to run before 2014.

Refusing to accept their dismissal, former employees have been maintaining rogue broadcasts from the occupied headquarters, while an interim TV station, DT (Public Television), has been airing from a nearby studio since mid-July.

Read more on:    antonis samaras  |  greece  |  media

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