Greek democracy needs public broadcaster: EU

The EU`s executive said it did not question the Greek government`s shock closure of ERT.

Updated: Jun 12, 2013, 17:29 PM IST

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

"We would like to highlight the role of public service broadcasters regarding European values in all economic circumstances," the European Commission said in a statement.

The European Commission, which has faced criticism in Greece for forcing harsh reforms on Athens under the terms of the debt-hit Eurozone country`s bailout, said it did not seek ERT`s closure.

But "nor does the Commission question the Greek government`s mandate to manage the public sector", the statement said.

The decision was part of the Athens government`s bid to reform the economy which included improving the efficiency of the public service, the statement added.

But it added that "the Commission supports the role of public broadcasting as an integral part of European democracy".

The EU, therefore, welcomed the Greek government`s pledge to launch a broadcaster that was financially sustainable.

The Greek government said earlier Wednesday it had submitted a bill for a new, reorganised state broadcasting company after it abruptly pulled the plug on ERT on Tuesday as part of its austerity drive.