Public broadcaster defies Greek government crackdown
The sudden decision of Greece's government to shut down the state run broadcaster, ERT has provoked a nationwide wave of protest, with employees and their supporters taking over studios, despite repeated attempts to close down transmission.

Monday's decision to close down the entire public broadcasting network in Greece at midnight took the entire country by surprise. Even political insiders were unprepared for the swiftness of the closure nor the reaction of the staff of ERT who quickly occupied their own studios and transmission facilities through Greece.

However, the Greek government was in mood for compromise and even before the midnight deadline, riot police units gradually shut down transmitters across the nation. attempts by other stations to re-broadcast ERT signals were also thwarted by the private agency that controls digital broadcasting.

While transmission from both Athens continuing via the internet the ET3 studio based in the northern city of Thessaloniki is facing severe difficulties after authorities cut off telephone and internet connections to the studio. In addition hundreds of riot police units have taken up position in the area and man fear that they will be used to seize the ET3 building.

Since the announcement of the closure of ERT thousands of supporters have gathered in Athens and Thessaloniki to thwart a possible attempt by police to raid the facilities.

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