The Greek government announced today that it is planning to shut down state broadcaster ERT tonight, using an emergency bill to force the action without parliament’s approval.
The motive behind the surprise move is simple — austerity. ERT’s radio and television stations cost the country 300 million euros ($398.24 million) a year, Reuters reports, and the broadcaster’s cost has been described as an “incredible waste” by a government spokesperson.
The company’s 2,700 employees have been offered compensation and a chance to reapply for jobs at a smaller, leaner organisation, but that hasn’t stopped employees and supporters protesting the news.
The New York Times reports that unions representing the workers are crowding outside its headquarters, planning to hold a sit in protest.
Photos from the scene show a large crowd:
— ΜαυροΜέλανος… (@MavriMelani) June 11, 2013
The channels will remain online until 12 midnight, Athens’ time tonight (5pm EDT). Until then, you can watch ERT online as journalists cover and discuss the protests surrounding their own demise.
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