Statement by Dany Cohn-Bendit, Rebecca Harms, Nick Chrysogelos on the shutdown of ERT and police state
The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament opposes the anti-democratic choices and practices of the Greek government on the issue of ERT state broadcasting station. The co-president of the Greens/EFA Danny Cohn-Bendit and Rebecca Harms will be in Greece in the coming days and will visit ERT’s facilities, meet with journalists, among other activities which are planned in collaboration with Nikos Chrysogelos, MEP with Ecologists Greens (Greek green party).
Danny Cohn-Bendit, Co-President of the Greens said:
"The authoritarian shutdown of public television and public radio station in Greece is causing growing concern. Reforms are needed, but nobody denies that there have been huge mistakes in the design and implementation of the fiscal consolidation programme. These mistakes led to misguided, authoritarian and spasmodic moves by the government and dissolution of the country’s social cohesion and economy. The European Commission and Troika must urgently redesign, in dialogue with the Greek government, social partners, civil society, regional government and Greek parliament, the fiscal consolidation program. Greece needs a fair and balanced plan to exit the crisis that will captivate people. Greece will change if the changes are fair, with the support and participation of the citizens, not against them. Public broadcasting is a European value"
Rebecca Harms, Co-President of the Greens said:
"The Greek government’s decision to send the police to shut down the public radio and TV frequencies in Athens is another alert on more and irresponsible measures in the crisis. The government could, if it was honestly pursuing ERT’s reform and reorganization, to agree on a joint project with employees, civil society and institutions, as it should be done in a modern European democracy to end the stranglehold of each government. ERT could play the role that corresponds to information, updating and viewing a diverse, dynamic and creative Greece that actually exists, information about the changes that need to be made in Europe."
Nick Chrysogelos MEP with Ecologists Greens, added:"The government chooses darkness instead of light, bring back memories of the darker side of Greek history. In a European democratic country it is not possible for the state to kick 2,600 employees out in the streets without even talking with them, deprive the Greek citizens in their country, in Europe, the USA and Australia from the information by the public television. It is certain that the luminaries who planned shutdown of ERT "for a few days" have no idea of the legal, political and social problems created by this decision. We urge the European Commission and the government to reverse its decision. You should allow ERT to play the role that corresponds to real information, especially at this time of crisis: Information on political, social and environmental issues, to bring out the creative initiatives that exist in society, alternatives to accommodate the political dialogue, contribute to the strengthening of democracy, better exploit its huge and extremely valuable historical, cultural and informational material it possesses ".