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Eight arrested after a protest against the closure of ERT

30 July 2013 / 15:07:21  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

About 30 people had gathered today outside the prosecutor’s office in the Evelpidon court complex to protest against the apprehending of eight people late last night near the transmitters of the former state broadcaster ERT.

Members of "Spitha" ("Spark" – author’s note), which is the movement against the Memorandum of financial support founded by composer Mikis Theodorakis, of the Unified People's Front EPAM, which also accuses the government and the parties supporting it of national treason, leftist activists and deputies of SYRIZA, had applauded in delight the detainees when they climbed the stairs to the prosecutor’s office.

Their supporters who were accompanied by policemen raised their hands to show the victory sign and shouted slogans against the police and government, calling them "the junta". A woman took off her blouse imprinted with the old advertising message, "My favourite programme of ERT" to express her dissatisfaction with the closure of the state media. At the same time, the other people were shouting the slogan, "ERT is not closed, it will remain state-owned."

There were trade unionists and former employees of ERT among the protesters, some of whom filmed the meeting in support of the detainees.

The eight detainees were brought to the fast-track court. The charges against them involve impediment of traffic safety, causing damage to public property, failure to comply with the orders of the authorities, objecting to the actions of the authorities to protect order and threats against policemen.

The developments took place shortly after 10:00 pm on Monday. Former employees of ERT had climbed up Mount Hymettus where there are transmitters of the media and had restored its analogue signal. For a short while, TV sets throughout Athens were able to transmit the broadcast of the former employees who have not been leaving the premises of the state media for 49 days already. About 70 people had gathered near the transmitters to support them and "to protect the actions of the employees" as they stated.

The first police units had appeared and interrupted the broadcast shortly after the signal of the broadcaster managed by the former employees had been restored. The riot forces arrived at the scene after them.

According to the protesters, they began to seize some of their colleagues. The police, however, claim that the protesters had damaged the equipment. Following the claim by Gikas Manalis, director of the intermediate state broadcaster DT, the eight detentions have turned into arrests.

Meanwhile, just a week after the announcement, the number of the applicants who wish to work in the intermediate broadcaster exceeds 2,400. The curricula vitae sent will be considered and evaluated electronically. The aim is to start the regular broadcasting as soon as possible although no one has so far pledged to forecast exactly when that will happen.

Tags: Crime newsMedia newsProtestERTTransmittersArrests
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