Last week on Tuesday the 11th of June, the Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou announced the shutdown of public television (ERT) in a defiant manner. It was decided that the channel would shut down after midnight. The screens finally turned black on that day at 23:11 before midnight. From that moment on, many Greeks gathered outside the building of public television and they have stayed there until today to protect the station. With the citizens blocking the building, the police has so far avoided to makes its way through to enter the building. With support from all over the world, ERT has managed to send out a pirate signal, transmitted to the world via dozens of websites and blogs in Greece and elsewhere.
The road outside the station has been occupied by protesters since Tuesday night. Citizens are rising up against the closure of the channel, beginning to reclaim their freedom and democracy, things that have begun to perish in Greece. In recent years the public broadcasters have worked as a propaganda tool for the government. Nevertheless, it has been a great provider of culture, providing an alternative to the junk transmitted by the private channels. Citizens are in need of quality content in an economically impoverished life. On the other hand, the government's move was completely arbitrary. It is no coincidence that only the Golden fully supported this decision.
Furthermore, the Journalists Association of Greece has decided to support the government’s decision to shut down microphones and to stop the broadcasting. This organization was supposed stand in support of the public channel. The silence of private TV on this issue indicates their treacherous support of the government’s decision. In recent days the Greeks did not retrieve any valuable information from the television at all, because apart from the silence of the private channels, the government stopped broadcasting from other European channels such as BBC, DW and TV5.
Nowadays the internet serves as a primary source for information but there are quite a few people, mostly elderly, who lack even basic Computer skills or do not have internet access at all. Also in many areas of Greece close to the border public television has been the only choice if you were not satisfied with TV from Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania and Skopje.
The Greek population has been encouraged in their struggles by the reaction of many European countries in face of the fascist decision of the Greek Prime Minister. Antonis Samaras has probably lost his sleep because Germany has not been amused by his decision either. Will he share the same fate as the former Prime Minister George Papandreou (who had to step down after calling for a referendum). Did power make him delusional and excessive? Might this prove to be his political suicide? Today, major decisions on the future of Greece are looming.
What we can say for certain is that the public is in power. The pressure of the population has caused chaos in the political world of Greece. And it is accompanied by fear in the camp of the government.
Photo Credits: The ERT conundrum (day 3) by linmtheu via flickr