Community condemns ERT closure

first_imgThe announcement of the temporary shutdown of the state broadcaster of Greece ERT took the Greek Australian Community and the entire Greek diaspora by surprise. In Australia, major community organisations, educators, ERT viewers and the national journalists’ union, came out strongly condemning the closure of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), established 75 years ago. The closure of the state broadcaster of Greece and the reaction of the Greek Australian community became a news item on major Australian news organisations. The Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV), in a letter sent to the Greek Prime Minister Mr Antonis Samaras, condemned the closure of ERT and highlighted the disappointment of the Greek diaspora in Australia. “The links that the Greek public broadcaster had created with the Australian Greek population for decades are now severed and we are now culturally destitute. “ERT was the only free to air TV broadcaster and for many elderly Greek Australians the daily program provided solace during their retirement years,” a spokesperson for the GOCMV stated. The Greek Orthodox Community of Sydney and New South Wales, in a press release, condemned the Greek government and called its decision to shut down ERT unacceptable and provocative. This decision is directed against the democratic right of people to access through a state broadcaster high quality news, entertainment, educational and cultural programs that allow us to retain our Greek identity abroad, stated the Greek Orthodox Community of Sydney and New South Wales. George Agelopoulos, the Oceania and Far East Regional Coordinator of the World Council for Hellenes Abroad (SAE), a body of the Hellenic diaspora with an advisory role to the Greek government, expressed his condemnation for the closure of ERT. The state broadcaster is a medium of educational and cultural importance for all Greeks, he said, and he called the Greek government to continue with the operation of the Hellenic national radio and television broadcaster. It is worth noting that the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance – Australia’s journalists’ union – also declared its opposition to the shut down of ERT. Christopher Warren, federal secretary of the Media Alliance, said: “Silencing the state-run broadcaster deprives the community of vital information. At the very least this is a short-sighted move that savages a crucial public service. And it is a ham-fisted attack on 2,500 experienced and dedicated media professionals who have worked hard for years to keep the community informed about the immense upheavals taking place in Greece. But this is also a very sinister assault on democracy and the public’s right to know, aimed at shrouding the activities of the powerful from legitimate scrutiny.” The closure of ERT will be discussed at SAE’s-Oceania and Far East Regional General Meeting to be held tomorrow at 1.30 pm, at the Cyprus Community Club of NSW, 58 Stanmore Rd, Stanmore, Sydney. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more