GUE/NGL
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Clearing of ERT building by riot police

GUE/NGL condemns clearing of ERT building by riot police

8 November 2013
BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA / M. Spinthourakis) — The GUE/NGL (Confederal Group of the

European United Left/Nordic Green Left) Parliamentary Group reacted strongly to

the storming of the former public broadcaster ERT premises in Athens by riot

police, who evicted former employees occupying the building since June.

“After illegally shutting down ERT, the Greek government has now used riot

police to complete its undemocratic and unconstitutional behaviour,” GUE/NGL

President Gabi Zimmer said, adding that “this attack against journalists and

employees, who have been continuing their work for four months now, is an

attack against democracy and freedom of the press.”

Zimmer called on the troika to end the austerity measures and invited the

people to express their solidarity to the ERT staff, underlining that “we must

fight together to restore democracy in Greece”.

 

(AE) MEDIA: GUE/NGL outraged at forced eviction of ERT journalists

8 November 2013

Agence Europe

Brussels, 07/11/2013 (Agence Europe) – The European Parliament's GUE/NGL Group is outraged at the forced eviction of Greek journalists from the offices of ERT in Athens on 7 November. “After illegally shutting down ERT, the Greek government has now used riot police to complete its undemocratic and unconstitutional behaviour”, said GUE/NGL leader Gabriele Zimmer (Germany). “This attack against the journalists and employees, who have been continuing their work for four months now, is an attack against democracy and freedom of the press”, said Zimmer. She called on the troika to put an end to the austerity measures applied thus far and she called on the citizens to express their solidarity with the ERT journalists. “We must fight together to restore democracy in Greece”, Zimmer added.

Riot police intervened at 4.30am on Thursday to evacuate the former headquarters of Greek public television ERT. Since the closure of ERT in June, the headquarters have been occupied by dozens of journalists and redundant employees. The closure was carried out at a time when a delegation from the European Union and International Monetary Fund was in Athens to check on the implementation of reforms promised to Greece's creditors. “The government has reached such a level in the delirium that it is now organising a coup d'état against itself”, said Zoe Konstantopoulou, a member of parliament from the extreme left Syriza coalition, which is the main component of the opposition. Dimar, the democratic left, criticised the “autocratic” behaviour of the government in implementing the reforms, and it criticised “the violent restructuring of public television”. A government spokesperson spoke, for his part, of “an illegal occupation” and explained that the police had intervened in order “to have the law respected”, with the Greek government wanting to take possession of all the equipment.

Greece decided to put an immediate end to the activities of ERT in order to come into line with austerity demands by the troika – while waiting for a recovery plan which would allow it to re-open. This decision led to 2,600 employees being made redundant and to Dimar leaving the government coalition – which provoked outcry that rose as high as the European Parliament. The employees continued to broadcast until September thanks to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), then on the website ertopen.com after the withdrawal of EU support (see EUROPE 10887, 10880, 10879). (IL/transl.fl)