Kap­sis tunes in to ERT dead­lock

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

ERT em­ploy­ees hit back yes­ter­day at the govern­ment over the pub­lic broad­caster’s clo­sure, say­ing the shut­down would cost up to 500 mil­lion eu­ros, as Pantelis Kap­sis, a for­mer news­pa­per edi­tor and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Lam­brakis Press, was ap­pointed to the Cabi­net to over­see the ser­vice’s re­struc­tur­ing.

Kap­sis said that his pri­or­ity is to get ERT, which has been off air since June 11, broad­cast­ing again. “We have the chance to make a leap for­ward and cre­ate a new broad­caster which matches the ex- pec­ta­tions of the Greek peo­ple and is free of party pol­i­tics and in­ter­ven­tions,” Kap­sis said.

The govern­ment ap­pears to be set on a short­term so­lu­tion that would in­volve about 2,000 of al­most 2,700 ERT em­ploy­ees be­ing re­hired un­til a new broad­caster that would em­ploy only 1,000 peo­ple is formed. Kap­sis, who is a deputy min­is­ter at the Cul­ture Min­istry, did not elab­o­rate on his in­ten­tions. In an op-ed in the Eth­nos news­pa­per on June 12, Kap­sis ex­pressed sup­port for over­haul­ing ERT but dis­agreed with the de­ci­sion to shut it down, de­scrib­ing it as “so­cial bar­barism” and “plac­ing a mine” un­der the coali­tion.

The union rep­re­sent­ing ERT work­ers, POSPERT, said its mem­bers had no in­ten­tion of aban­don­ing the broad­caster’s head­quar­ters in Aghia Paraskevi, north­east­ern Athens. The union said that the com­pen­sa­tion for sacked em­ploy­ees, the can­cel­ing of con­tracts for TV and ra­dio pro­grams and the loss of rev­enues from cov­er­age of events that had been paid for would end up cost­ing the govern­ment 300 to 500 mil­lion eu­ros.

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