Plans To Put ERT Back On The Air

Greece's new Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition has prepared legislation to restore the closed former national broadcaster ERT and rehire the staff.

ATHENS – Greece’s new Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition has prepared legislation to restore the closed former national broadcaster ERT and rehire the staff.

Former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in June 2013 ordered the immediate closing of the station and the firing of all of its more than 2,600 workers, about 500 of whom have been rehired to work at the replacement national broadcaster NERIT.

There was no word whether there would now be two national broadcast stations or what would happen with NERIT. The closing of ERT brought months of protests, including from European journalists, but Samaras stood by his decision.

A government official said any dismissed ERT staff interested in regaining their jobs would be rehired but stressed that this would not burden the budget.

Of some 2,600 civil servants who lost their jobs when the previous government pulled the plug on ERT, around 500 were rehired.

Officials of the new government have noted that the previous administration had budgeted for the recruitment of 15,000 civil servants this year and that their planned hirings are far fewer and therefore would not burden the budget.