Friday, June 14, 2013

Blinding the public in Greece

The Greek government has shut down its state broadcaster "to save money":

Greek state TV and radio were gradually pulled off the air late on Tuesday, hours after the government said it would temporarily close all state-run broadcasts and lay off about 2,500 workers as part of a cost-cutting drive demanded by the bailed-out country's international creditors.

TV and radio stations of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, or ERT, were pulled off the air in several parts of the country from about 11pm (9pm BST), about an hour before the government said all signals would go dead, although satellite broadcasts continued.

The conservative-led government said ERT would reopen "as soon as possible" with a new, smaller workforce. It wasn't immediately clear how long that would take, and whether all stations would reopen.

I guess its far easier to impose "reforms" and sell off the country if there is no independent media there to keep an eye on you.

The good news is that the Greek people aren't taking this lying down. And neither are the ERT staff - they've seized control of their studios and are still broadcasting with the assistance of the European Broadcasting Union. The government's response has been to threaten to send in riot police to shut them up - which tells you what this is really about: blinding the public and stifling criticism.