50+ Directors General of Public Media demand ERT be restored to air

13 Jun 2013
  • Related documents:

    Media Intelligence Service
    ERT fact sheet

    (EBU Member access only)

    Messages of Support for ERT

    ERT crisis timeline:

    11 June - Greek government announces immediate closure of ERT at midnight. Greek TV screens go black. Staff and citizens launch protests as 2,700 staff lose their jobs. EBU leadership urges Greek PM to retract the decision.

    12 June - EUROVISION news point established outside ERT. ERT staff continue producing news, which is transmitted by the EBU’s satellite news gathering (SNG) and EBU earth station to EBU HQ, Geneva. EBU streams NET’s signal on its website, bringing a huge spike in visitors. EBU leadership invites Member DGs to sign joint statement.

    13 June - EBU president writes to European Commission President Barroso calling for a stronger stance on ERT’s closure. EBU implements workaround to allow satellite subscribers worldwide to access NET on television. EBU launches online petition which garners thousands of names in a few hours. EBU leaders head to Athens for talks with ERT executives and stakeholders.

    The signatories (complete list below) , which include the directors general of all of Europe’s most important public service media organizations, universally condemn the Greek government’s “undemocratic and unprofessional” course of action, which “undermines the existence of public service media in Greece”.

    The statement, to which the directors general, presidents and chief executive officers, as well as several heads of international relations, have put their names, reads as follows:


    “We, as Directors General of Europe’s public broadcasters, express our profound dismay at the action taken by the Greek Government on Tuesday, 11 June in shutting down ERT with immediate effect.

    This undemocratic and unprofessional action of the Greek government undermines the existence of public service media in Greece and its independence from the government.

    For that reason, we strongly urge the Greek Prime Minister to immediately reverse this decision, allowing ERT to go back on the air in Greece and we wholeheartedly support the open letter sent by the EBU President and Director General on 11 June 2013.”

    Having collected the signatures in less than 24 hours, the EBU leadership has now sent the document to the Greek Government in a second letter urging Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to revoke the closure decree, while in addition appealing for at least one ERT TV channel to be left on air.

    On Tuesday evening (June 11) EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot and Director General Ingrid Deltenre wrote an open letter to Mr Samaras urging him to see sense and pointing out that “public service media and their independence from Government lie at the heart of democratic societies”.

    The move followed an emergency EBU Executive Board session held on Wednesday.

    For more information:

    Michelle Roverelli
    Head of Communications
    T +41 22 717 2204
    M +41 79 647 1724

    Complete list of signatories

    Chabane Lounakel Directeur General Radio Algérienne Algeria
    Margarita Grigoryan

    Executive Director

     Armenian Public Television Armenia
    Alexander Wrabetz Director General ORF Austria
    Bernadette Wynanats President RTBF Belgium 
    Sandra De Preter Director General VRT Belgium 
    Radoslav Yankulov  Director General BNR Bulgaria
    Vyara Ankova Director General BNT Bulgaria
    Goran Radman Director General HRT Croatia
    Themis Themistocleous Director General CyBC  Cyprus 
    Petr Dvorak Director General Czech Television Czech Republic
    Peter Duhan Director General Czech Radio Czech Republic
    Maria Rørbye Rønn Director General/CEO DR Denmark
    Margus Allikmaa Director General ERR Estonia
    Lauri Kivinen Chief Executive Officer Yle Finland
    Rémy Pflimlin Président Directeur Général France Télévisions France
    Jean-Luc Hees Président Directeur Général Radio France France
    Marie-Christine Saragosse Présidente Directrice Générale Radio France Internationale France

    George Baratashvili

    General Director Georgian Public Broadcaster Georgia
    Ulrich Wilhelm Director General


    Dr Thomas Bellut Director General ZDF Germany
    István Jónás  Chief Executive Officer Hungarian Radio Hungary
    Balazs MEDVECZKY Director General  MTV Hungary
    Páll Magnússon Director General RUV Iceland
    Pól ó Gallchóir Director General TG4 Ireland
    Noel Curran Director General RTÉ Ireland
    Anna Maria Tarantola
    / Luigi Gubitosi
    / Director General
    RAI Italia
     Ibrahim EL Khoury President Director General Télé-Liban Lebanon
    Fernand Weides Directeur Radio ERSL Luxembourg
    Constantin Marin President  Teleradio Moldova Moldova
    Rade Vojvodic Director General  RTCG  Montenegro
    Faïçal  Laraïchi Président Directeur Général SNRT Morocco 
    Henk Hagoort Chairman Management Board NPO  Netherland
    Thor Gjermund Eriksen Director General NRK Norway
    Alf Hildrum Chief Executive Officer TV2 Norway
    Andrzej Siezieniewski President  Polish Radio Poland
    Juliusz Braun President & CEO TVP Poland
    Alberto da Ponte President  RTP Portugal
    Ovidiu Miculescu President Director General Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation Romania
    Claudiu Saftoiu President Director General  TVR Romania
    Oleg Dobrodeev Director General RTR Russia
    Konstantin Ernst Director General Channel One Russia
    Carlo Romeo Director General San Marino RTV San Marino
    Aleksandar Tijanic Director General RTS Serbia
    Vaclav Mika Director General  RTVS Slovakia 
    Marko Filli Director General RZV Slovenia
    Leopoldo Gonzalez Echenique Director General RTVE Spain
    Cilla Benkö Director General Swedish Radio Sweden
    Erik Fichtelius Director General UR Sweden
    Eva Hamilton General Director SVT Sweden
    Gilles Marchand Directeur RTS Switzerland
    Roger de Weck Directeur General SRG SSR Switzerland
    Imen Bahroun Ben Mrad Présidente Directrice Générale Télévision Tunisienne  Tunisia
    Tony Hall  Director General BBC United Kingdom
    Oleksandr Panteleimonov Acting Director General NTU Ukraine
    Taras Avrakhov  Director General National Radio Company Ukraine
    Federico Lombardi S.I. General Director Vatican Radio Vatican City State


    Ingrid Deltenre (EBU Director General)

    Supported by the eleven members of the EBU Executive Board:

    Jean-Paul PHILIPPOT (President - RTBF)
    Claudio CAPPON (Vice-President - RAI)

    Cilla BENKÖ (SR)
    Petr FEDOROV (RTR)
    Faiçal Rachid LARÏCHI (SNRT)
    Roger MOSEY (BBC)
    Remy PFLIMLIN (FT)
    Ulrich WILHELM (BR/ARD)
    Alexander WRABETZ (ORF)


Share this page on