The future is unknown

ERT building

In Ghana there is a popular maxim which says “the future is unknown”, however in Athens inside the premises of ERT (a state owned media organization), the future is known by the dedicated staff currently running it with absolutely no funding since June 2013.

The Greek government has illogically decided since June 2013 to close down the ERT which employs over 2500 people and has a wider coverage with 19 radio stations scattered across the country, news website as well as several TV channels.

“It is very illogical for government to ever think of closing down such a magnificent media outlet” says Machi Nikolara a TV Journalist representative of POSPERT a federation of Unions within ERT.

The inability of the Greek government to refinance its debt has pushed the government to adopt severe austerity measures which has resulted in the devastation of Greek societ. As part of these austerity measures the Greek government is required to reduce public sector jobs by 150,000 as well as a 12% pay cut to public sector compensations.

One of the ramifications of this is a political decision by the Greek government to close ERT which employs about 2500 people and set up a new a public TV station which employs about 400 workers.

But to the President of POSPERT, Brother Panagiotis Kalfagiannis, the solidarity that has been shown by organizations like Public Services International (PSI) encourages them to resist government’s plans of closing down the media organizations.

“It is to be noted that we work here without salaries, and we don’t feel it because of the sort solidarity we get from PSI” he told Communicators Action Network members of PSI who are presently on a 5-day training tour to Greece.

By Jerry Detse Mensah-Pah - HSWU, Ghana