The news of the National Greek Broadcaster, ERT, being closed down by the Greek government caused shockwaves both within Greece as well as internationally. On Wednesday 12th June, one day after the announcement and closure of ERT, a new bill concerning its replacement was submitted to the Greek parliament.
According to the bill, the full name of the new body will be Nea Elliniki Radiofonia, Internet kai Tileorasi SA. NERIT is conceived as an independent body in terms of management and finances. It will still be part of the public sector and supervised by the Greek government. It is believed that the government’s intention is to have NERIT operating by Autumn.
At the same time, support for ERT remains strong. Even though ERT employees are officially redundant, they carry on broadcasting online. They are being aided in their effort by media organizations such as the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, CyBC, as well as the European Broadcasting Union, EBU, who host the broadcasts on their official websites. EBU is also retransmitting the broadcasts via satellite to the rest of Europe.
Apart from the public who have gathered at the ERT headquarters in Athens, cultural and political figures have joined forces trying to have the Greek government’s decision reversed. If NERIT goes ahead, it will have to secure membership with the EBU in order to be able to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest.
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