12 Jun 2013

Greek state broadcaster shut down

7:50 am on 12 June 2013

The government in Greece is to close the radio and TV services of the state broadcaster ERT.

A government spokesman said transmissions would cease early on Wednesday.

All employees, numbering at least 2500, will be suspended until the company reopens.

It is the latest move in successive rafts of spending cuts and tax rises that the government hopes will lead the country out of recession.

ERT is funded by a direct payment by of 4.30 euros (£3.80; $6) added monthly to electricity bills.

It runs three domestic TV channels, four national radio stations, as well regional radio stations and an external service, Voice of Greece.

In April, parliament passed a bill which will see 15,000 state employees lose their jobs by the end of next year.

The law was a condition for Greece to receive its next tranche of loans from international lenders worth 8.8 billion euros ($US11.4 billion).

Since 2010, the European Union and the IMF have promised more than 200 billion euros in lending for Greece. The government has imposed tough austerity measures in return.