ATHENS — Lawmakers from Greece’s new left-wing government have voted to reinstate the country’s public broadcaster, ERT, which was abruptly shut down two years ago as part of austerity measures.
Parliament voted early April 29 to re-hire more than 1,500 ERT workers and incorporate a protest TV station operated online by fired employees even the country is essentially broke and trying to get more aid from international lenders.
There was no word on whether the new ERT would now compete with the national station that replaced it, NERIT, being operated by a number of former workers at the previous station.
In June 2013, ERT television and radio broadcasts were abruptly taken off the air by the previous conservative government.
Greece had been under pressure from international lenders to swiftly reduce the size of its civil service in return for continued bailout loans and the rehiring of the workers goes counter to the demands.
There was no immediate information on what ERT would do since NERIT has effectively been operating as the national broadcaster.
ERT was closed down on no notice by former Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras to meet orders from the country’s creditors to reduce the bloated public workforce. It had been accused of being a patronage dumping ground.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)