Greece's state TV closure a Greek decision: Berlin

12th June 2013, Comments 0 comments

Germany said Wednesday that a move by the Greek government to shut down the country's ERT state broadcaster was Athens' decision alone to make.

"This is not a matter for the (German) government but this is a matter for the Greek government," government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular government news conference.

Germany has been accused by some of imposing austerity on debt-laden nations but Seibert said it was for Greece to decide on the measures needed to meet the terms agreed with its international creditors in return for a bailout.

A finance ministry spokesman reiterated the message, saying it was Athens' decision how to implement the programme agreed with the troika of international lenders.

"The troika must pay attention that the programme is implemented, how and the details, where and in what way... the Greek government alone decides, and that's the way it should be," Martin Kotthaus told the same news briefing.

Greece's ERT television and radio stations were abruptly taken off the air Tuesday and its 2,700 staff suspended after the conservative-led government branded the broadcaster a "haven of public waste".

Greece is caught in a six-year recession which austerity critics say has been exacerbated by successive pay and pension cuts imposed at the behest of its EU-IMF creditors.

The EU's executive said it did not question the Greek government's closure of ERT but that providing a public broadcaster was key to European democracy whatever the economic circumstances.

© 2013 AFP

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