Greece’s state broadcaster ERT is set to officially return on Monday of next week—two years after its closure. This is a victory for workers who occupied ERT and operated it under workers’ control.
ERT’s re-opening was a key promise of Syriza, the left party elected in January. The fight is on to make sure it doesn’t mean a return to the cuts—or the bosses’ control.
Police entered the regional radio station on the island of Zante last Thursday on a complaint by bosses of the rump broadcaster Nerit that had replaced ERT. They arrested journalist Petros Pomonis.
Petros told Socialist Worker, “It was an attempt to cancel Syriza’s legislation reinstating ERT. Syriza members are calling it a political provocation.
“But it also reinforced a sense that the government is handling crucial issues badly.”
Many of Nerit’s structures remain intact, and boss Lampis Tagmatarchis, who issued the redundancy notices in 2013, has been named ERT director.
Petros said, “This is the greatest provocation—to the workers and supporters who fought for an open ERT, free voice of all who struggle.”
With Syriza scrambling to reach a deal with Greece’s creditors, workers across Greece could soon be asked to accept compromises. At ERT, they refuse to demobilise.
Petros said his arrest “triggered the reflexes of solidarity”. He added, “We refuse to be terrorised. We must prevent any attempts to cut off the services we’ve defended with so many struggles.”