Commission wants to fund Greek media

Marianne Thyssen

Marianne Thyssen [European Parliament/Flickr]

The European Commission has proposed to help 1,633 media workers in Greece in sectors such as publishing, programming and broadcasting who have been made redundant, via the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).

The Commission said on Tuesday (3 February) that the funds, which are requested by the Greek authorities, amount to €8.7 million. The money will help workers in their transition to new jobs. The proposals now go to the Parliament and the EU’s Council of Ministers for approval.

“Today’s decision will help to prepare over 1,600 people for new jobs. Greek workers are going through a difficult period and we must use all the tools we have at our disposal to provide assistance. I am happy we have been able to respond positively to Greece’s request for EGF support to the redundant workers,” said Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, who is in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility.

Greece applied for support from the EGF following a dismissal of 1,633 workers in the media sector. 928 workers were in 16 programming and broadcasting enterprises, while 705 workers came from 46 publishing enterprises.

These job losses were the result of the global financial and economic crisis which has deeply affected the Greek economy.

The EGF will help the workers find new jobs by providing them with active career guidance, training and vocational training, specific advice towards entrepreneurship, contributions to business start-up and a variety of allowances. All the redundant workers are expected to participate in the measures.

In June 2013, Greece announced the decision to take the state broadcaster ERT off the air and pay off some 2,600 staff before relaunching it in a slimmed-down form. The decision set off a firestorm of protests from trade unions and even junior partners in the at the time ruling coalition.

Athens announced the surprise closure with immediate effect of its state broadcaster in June 2013, in a desperate move to slash public sector jobs and meet the terms of a bailout imposed by the Troika of international creditors – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Instead, the Greek government proposed a successor organisation, New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television which launched in August 2013 as "Public Television".

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