Log in
A+ A A-
latest youtube videos subscribe ORIGINAL

Police Retake ERT HQ

Riot police entered the building complex of former public broadcaster ERT in the northern suburb of Agia Paraskevi at 04:15 on Thursday morning, retaking it from occupying former employees, there since June.

Before the assault, police had shut down Mesogion Avenue, which is a main thoroughfare passing in front of the building.

Former employees had occupied ERT's main facilities since the government shut down the broadcaster, in order to restructure public broadcasting.

The forced entry took place in the presence of a prosecutor and was coordinated by Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias, following orders by the prime minister and the government vice president. Police entered the premises from the side entrance, on Dimitsanas street, and used tear gas to disperse people and keep them out of the courtyard.

Former ERT employee union president Panagiotis Kalfagiannis and three former ERT staffers were taken to Athens Police Headquarters (GADA) for questioning and were later released.

At this time authorities are taking an inventory en of machinery and equipment. Former ERT employees and union members have issued a public invitation for a rally at the premises to protest the police intervention.

Minor scuffles broke out between police and persons who wanted to break the cordon, but no further incidents were reported concerning those gathered there.

Athens Journalists' Union (ESIEA) president Maria Antoniadou said she and members of the board were on site "to defend the right of our colleagues to work," while Panhellenic Federation of Journalists' Unions (POESY) president Giorgos Savvidis requested permission to enter the premises as a union representative.

President of POSPERT (ERT staff) Panagiotis Kalfagiannis charged the government with trying to mislead the public and with choosing to intervene with police "to muddy the waters concerning the troika and the measures."

The union representatives were joined by a delegation from main opposition SYRIZA.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou in a statement on Thursday referring to police's intervention to ERT building said that the law was implemented and the order has been restored. "ERT building was under illegal occupation with result losses for the Greek State and police's intervention was held in the presence of a prosecutor.