NEWS published on 13 Jun 2013 • Department / Unit Communications Legal & Policy

50+ Directors General of Public Media demand ERT be restored to air

Related documents:

Media Intelligence Service
ERT fact sheet

(EBU Member access only)

Messages of Support for ERT

ERT crisis timeline:

11 June - Greek government announces immediate closure of ERT at midnight. Greek TV screens go black. Staff and citizens launch protests as 2,700 staff lose their jobs. EBU leadership urges Greek PM to retract the decision.

12 June - Eurovision news point established outside ERT. ERT staff continue producing news, which is transmitted by the EBU’s satellite news gathering (SNG) and EBU earth station to EBU HQ, Geneva. EBU streams NET’s signal on its website, bringing a huge spike in visitors. EBU leadership invites Member DGs to sign joint statement.

13 June - EBU president writes to European Commission President Barroso calling for a stronger stance on ERT’s closure. EBU implements workaround to allow satellite subscribers worldwide to access NET on television. EBU launches online petition which garners thousands of names in a few hours. EBU leaders head to Athens for talks with ERT executives and stakeholders.

The signatories (complete list below) , which include the directors general of all of Europe’s most important public service media organizations, universally condemn the Greek government’s “undemocratic and unprofessional” course of action, which “undermines the existence of public service media in Greece”.

The statement, to which the directors general, presidents and chief executive officers, as well as several heads of international relations, have put their names, reads as follows:


“We, as Directors General of Europe’s public broadcasters, express our profound dismay at the action taken by the Greek Government on Tuesday, 11 June in shutting down ERT with immediate effect.

This undemocratic and unprofessional action of the Greek government undermines the existence of public service media in Greece and its independence from the government.

For that reason, we strongly urge the Greek Prime Minister to immediately reverse this decision, allowing ERT to go back on the air in Greece and we wholeheartedly support the open letter sent by the EBU President and Director General on 11 June 2013.”

Having collected the signatures in less than 24 hours, the EBU leadership has now sent the document to the Greek Government in a second letter urging Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to revoke the closure decree, while in addition appealing for at least one ERT TV channel to be left on air.

On Tuesday evening (June 11) EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot and Director General Ingrid Deltenre wrote an open letter to Mr Samaras urging him to see sense and pointing out that “public service media and their independence from Government lie at the heart of democratic societies”.

The move followed an emergency EBU Executive Board session held on Wednesday.

For more information:

Michelle Roverelli
Head of Communications
T +41 22 717 2204
M +41 79 647 1724

Complete list of signatories

Chabane Lounakel Directeur General Radio Algérienne Algeria
Margarita Grigoryan

Executive Director

 Armenian Public Television Armenia
Alexander Wrabetz Director General ORF Austria
Bernadette Wynanats President RTBF Belgium 
Sandra De Preter Director General VRT Belgium 
Radoslav Yankulov  Director General BNR Bulgaria
Vyara Ankova Director General BNT Bulgaria
Goran Radman Director General HRT Croatia
Themis Themistocleous Director General CyBC  Cyprus 
Petr Dvorak Director General Czech Television Czech Republic
Peter Duhan Director General Czech Radio Czech Republic
Maria Rørbye Rønn Director General/CEO DR Denmark
Margus Allikmaa Director General ERR Estonia
Lauri Kivinen Chief Executive Officer Yle Finland
Rémy Pflimlin Président Directeur Général France Télévisions France
Jean-Luc Hees Président Directeur Général Radio France France
Marie-Christine Saragosse Présidente Directrice Générale Radio France Internationale France

George Baratashvili

General Director Georgian Public Broadcaster Georgia
Ulrich Wilhelm Director General


Dr Thomas Bellut Director General ZDF Germany
István Jónás  Chief Executive Officer Hungarian Radio Hungary
Balazs MEDVECZKY Director General  MTV Hungary
Páll Magnússon Director General RUV Iceland
Pól ó Gallchóir Director General TG4 Ireland
Noel Curran Director General RTÉ Ireland
Anna Maria Tarantola
/ Luigi Gubitosi
/ Director General
RAI Italia
 Ibrahim EL Khoury President Director General Télé-Liban Lebanon
Fernand Weides Directeur Radio ERSL Luxembourg
Constantin Marin President  Teleradio Moldova Moldova
Rade Vojvodic Director General  RTCG  Montenegro
Faïçal  Laraïchi Président Directeur Général SNRT Morocco 
Henk Hagoort Chairman Management Board NPO  Netherland
Thor Gjermund Eriksen Director General NRK Norway
Alf Hildrum Chief Executive Officer TV2 Norway
Andrzej Siezieniewski President  Polish Radio Poland
Juliusz Braun President & CEO TVP Poland
Alberto da Ponte President  RTP Portugal
Ovidiu Miculescu President Director General Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation Romania
Claudiu Saftoiu President Director General  TVR Romania
Oleg Dobrodeev Director General RTR Russia
Konstantin Ernst Director General Channel One Russia
Carlo Romeo Director General San Marino RTV San Marino
Aleksandar Tijanic Director General RTS Serbia
Vaclav Mika Director General  RTVS Slovakia 
Marko Filli Director General RZV Slovenia
Leopoldo Gonzalez Echenique Director General RTVE Spain
Cilla Benkö Director General Swedish Radio Sweden
Erik Fichtelius Director General UR Sweden
Eva Hamilton General Director SVT Sweden
Gilles Marchand Directeur RTS Switzerland
Roger de Weck Directeur General SRG SSR Switzerland
Imen Bahroun Ben Mrad Présidente Directrice Générale Télévision Tunisienne  Tunisia
Tony Hall  Director General BBC United Kingdom
Oleksandr Panteleimonov Acting Director General NTU Ukraine
Taras Avrakhov  Director General National Radio Company Ukraine
Federico Lombardi S.I. General Director Vatican Radio Vatican City State


Ingrid Deltenre (EBU Director General)

Supported by the eleven members of the EBU Executive Board:

Jean-Paul PHILIPPOT (President - RTBF)
Claudio CAPPON (Vice-President - RAI)

Cilla BENKÖ (SR)
Faiçal Rachid LARÏCHI (SNRT)
Alexander WRABETZ (ORF)