Press statement on the closure of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) by the Greek Government (find the PDF version here). Issued by FERA, the Federation of European Film Directors.
All democracies need a plurality of media voices if they are to survive: Greece, the mother of European democracy, is no exception. In these difficult times Greece needs its public broadcaster more than ever, if consensus and hope are to be found.
The Greek people are also entitled to continuity of news, film and audiovisual culture, which a functioning ERT can provide. Its film makers must not be arbitrarily prevented from making films and programmes. Culture and free speech are not merely optional; without them democracy will wither away.
To reform ERT may be necessary, but to close it is a dangerous and destructive step into authoritarianism. The film directors of Europe, through FERA, urge Prime Minister Samaras to work now with all parties, and all people of good will, to bring this precious national asset back to life without delay.
FERA Honorary President Sir Alan Parker
FERA Creative Council Marco Bellocchio
*FERA, the Federation of European Film Directors, is a non-profit organization of 39 national film and television directors’ guilds and associations from 29 countries of Europe, representing the independent voice of about 20,000 European directors.