ATHENS – Greece may soon have two national broadcasters competing against each other after the government filed a bill to bring back the defunct station ERT.
The former national TV network was closed on five minutes notice in June 2013 by then-Premier and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras, with all, 2,653 of workers on what critics said was a bloated staff being let go.
Since then, a replacement station called NERIT has gone on the air and some 500 of the former ERT workers rehird to run it.
Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, making good on at least one of his campaign pledges, is having the ERT-reopening bill sent to the Parliament his coalition, which includes the Independent Greeks (ANEL) controls.
At the same time the government is bring pressured by international lenders to adhere to strict reforms, including paring the public workforce, some 2000 dismissed ERT workers could be brought back, paid with license fees attached to electricity bills, exempting poor households.
Officials have insisted that the rehiring of some 2,000 dismissed ERT workers and the reopening of the broadcaster will not burden state coffers as the hirings fall within budgeted public sector recruitments this year and the operation will be paid for through license fees.
In what could be ominous news for NERIT and its workers, the government said it also planned a financial review of the station.
Source: The National Herald