Community broadcasters express solidarity to their colleagues of the public service
Bruxelles, June 13th 2013, the European branch of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters is deeply concerned by the sudden closure of Greek public broadcaster ERT, and the threats to the right of information during a period of profound social, political and financial crisis.
“After the closure of 2 community radio stations, Entasi Fm and 98Fm on April 11th 2013, it is now the turn of the public service. Who will be the next?”, commented Sally Galiana, President of AMARC Europe. “It is clear -continues Galiana- that the free flow of information is one of the victims of the political and financial crisis in the country, depriving citizens from a basic fundamental right, as the right of communication is. The government’s decision is a new step against democracy and media freedom in Greece”.
AMARC Europe express its solidarity to the almost 3000 workers who lost their job and reminds that according to European and International standards, Public Service Broadcasters are considered a fundamental element for democracy.
Francesco Diasio, Secretary General of AMARC Europe added: “This decision demonstrates that the range of Greek citizen rights is shrinking more and more. The financial measures set out by the IMF and the so called EU “stability pact” are killing the patient, preventing also him to be informed on how he will die. European institutions (European Union, Council of Europe, OSCE) should adopt any possible countermeasure to this dangerous step”.
European community, free and independent broadcasters therefore call the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to reconsider this choice and use his power to reverse this decision: even if a new structure will be launched in August with 1.200 employees instead of the 2.700 canceled jobs, there have to be serious doubts that a structure of Public Service Broadcaster that slender could fulfill the tasks of a full and impartial media service to the citizens.
AMARC Europe is the regional branch of the World Association of Community Broadcasters, gathering 230 members in 25 European countries. Its goal is to support and contribute to the development of community and participatory broadcasters along the principals of solidarity and cooperation.
AMARC Europe Secretariat
Francesco Diasio, +32.2.609 44 40; +32.484.309 822