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Concern about the closure of the public broadcasting service in Greece

Strasbourg, 13.06.2013 – “I was extremely surprised by the closure late on Tuesday of Greece’s three public radio and TV services, ERT,” said Deborah Bergamini (Italy, EPP/CD), Chair of the Sub-Committee on Media and Information Society of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), speaking today.

“I understand that the financial situation of the public broadcasting service in Greece is extremely serious, and I have no reason to believe that, in taking such an unusual decision, the Greek government intended to infringe the right to freedom of information, or that it exceeded its statutory powers.

It is nevertheless worrying that such a serious decision was implemented practically instantaneously, and I am concerned about the possible harmful consequences in the shorter and the longer term of the simultaneous withdrawal of all public media,” added Ms Bergamini.

“Yesterday, the government tabled draft legislation on reorganisation of the public audiovisual service (radio, television and Internet). I hope that everything will be done to ensure that the Greek parliament can speedily adopt the necessary measures to preserve media pluralism and freedom and to provide an effective guarantee of Greek citizens’ right to information,” she concluded.