‘REOPEN ERT STATE TV!’ –Greek workers demand of Syriza

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The sacked ERT state TV and radio workers’ union POSPERT has called a mass rally in Athens for Wednesday 11 February.

They are demanding that the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and Independent Greeks (ANEL) coalition government immediately reopen the ERT, and reinstate all employees dismissed by government decree in June 2013.

Last week, the new SYRIZA minister in charge of ERT, Nikos Pappas, said that all workers will be re-employed but hasn’t put forward any plans.

POSPERT have issued proposals for a state ERT where workers’ committees and managerial ‘co-ordinators’ would be responsible for the running and programmes.

POSPERT have stated that there should be no employment of strike-breakers and scabs.

It has also proposed that all workers at ERT should be full-time employees and that TV and radio programmes should be produced by ERT with no external producers involved.

The Greek local government workers’ union POE-OTA have called a half-day stoppage in the Athens area for this Friday in protest against the trial of the whole General Council of the union regarding an October 2011 strike. POE-OTA demands that all charges are dropped.

While Greek workers are pushing ahead with their demands, supported during the election campaign last month by SYRIZA, the new Finance Minister Yianis Varoufakis has said that there won’t be any re-nationalisations, while state companies in the process of privatisation will be sold off.

The State Gas Company DEPA is in that process. But the new Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, leader of SYRIZA’s Left Platform, has stated that DEPA would not be sold, although he was not certain about the distribution company DESFA.

Last Tuesday, Lafazanis announced that gas and other energy household bills could be cut by as much as 20 per cent along with the price of petrol.

Since last week, patients at state hospitals have refused to pay the 5 euro fee and the 1 euro prescription charge.

While on tour around the European capitals, the Finance Minister Yianis Varoufakis announced that Lazard, the US banking and financial services company, has been appointed as advisors to the Greek Finance Ministry on public debt.

The announcement has created much resentment by Greek workers who remember that it was Lazard which acted as advisors to the previous Greek governments that imposed the hated austerity accords.

Lazard’s HQ is in the Bermudas and the firm has long and close ties with the US State Department.