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European Broadcasting Union to stop streaming Greek public TV

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The European Broadcasting Union voiced confidence Tuesday that Greece would soon have a new functioning public broadcaster and said it would therefore stop streaming the station that Athens shut down in June.

"The need for the EBU streaming has ended and from 9:00 am (0700 GMT) on Wednesday, 21 August, the service will no longer be available," EBU chief Ingrid Deltenre said in a statement.

The organisation had reached its decision amid "encouraging signs that a new public service broadcaster will soon be operational in Greece," she said, noting that ERT's temporary replacement, Greek Public Television (EDT), had been launched.

The move drew criticism from UNI Global Union, a global federation of more than 900 unions with some 20 million members, which warned there was "no sufficient guarantee that any interim service will be editorially independent".

EBU, which aims to promote public-service broadcasting and is the world's largest association of national broadcasters, has been streaming ERT via its satellite and website since shortly after Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras abruptly pulled the plug on ERT on June 11.

The move made some 2,600 people redundant overnight and caused national and international uproar as well as a major political crisis.

UNI's secretary general Philip Jennings charged that the Greek government had made "multiple attempts to intimidate and discourage ERT employees ... in order to silence their protest and to stop their efforts keeping public service broadcasting alive."

"It is vital for the legitimacy of Greek public broadcasting in Greece that it is built in dialogue with and respect of the public broadcasting workers," he said, launching a petition for EBU to continue streaming ERT.

EBU has delivered 8.5 million ERT live streams to 2.5 million unique visitors in the past 10 weeks, Deltenre said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130820/european-broadcasting-union-stop-streaming-greek-public-tv