ATHENS – Almost two years after being summarily shut down, Greek Public broadcaster ERT will reopen May 25, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said.
Reopening the station that was closed by former Premier and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras was a promise Tsipras made ahead of the Jan. 25 elections although the station had already been replaced by a new broadcaster called NERIT.
The two stations reportedly will be merged and all the fired workers who had not been taken on by NERIT will be hired back, Tsipras said, defying international lenders who want the work force pared.
Meeting with ERT Chairman Dionysis Tsaknis and CEO Lambis Tagmatarchis, Tsipras urged the newly-installed executives to work for a “pluralist and independent” network without explaining what he meant.
“Your responsibility is to restore people’s bond with ERT, which was severed by the blackout,” he said.
Tsipras added that June 11, the anniversary of ERT’s shutdown by the previous government and its replacement with NERIT, will be a day to celebrate “the victory of democracy.”