The European Music Council condemns the closing of the Greek public broadcasting – including the three Music Ensembles of the Greek Radio Television (ERT)
The European Music Council (EMC), regional group of the International Music Council (IMC), is the umbrella organisation for musical life in Europe. It is a platform for National Music Councils and organisations involved in various fields of music from many European countries; the 76 members have their seat in 29 European countries.
The EMC supports EBU (European Broadcasting Union) President Philippot’s letter to the Greek Prime Minister, Antonio Samaras, in which he states:
“The existence of public service media and their independence from Government lie at the heart of democratic societies, and therefore any far-reaching changes to the public media system should only be decided after an open and inclusive democratic debate in Parliament – and not through a simple agreement between two Government Ministers.”
The closing down of ERT public broadcasting also affects the ERT music ensembles, such as the National Symphony Orchestra, the Contemporary Music Ensemble and Choir.
Public broadcasting music ensembles play a decisive role in the public music life of a country and contribute to musical diversity in Greece and Europe. In line with the 5 music rights of the International Music Council, the EMC would like to stress the importance of:
While in times of crisis everything must be done to secure budgets and avoid overspending, the ad hoc and undemocratic way in which the ERT was closed down is inacceptable. The EMC therefore strongly supports the Greek court’s ruling to restore the national broadcaster to air on Monday, 17 June.
- the right for all children and adults to express themselves musically in full freedom;
- the right for musical artists to develop their artistry and communicate through all media, with appropriate facilities at their disposal;
- the right for musical artists to obtain fair recognition and remuneration for their work.
The EMC also welcomes the European Parliament’s Culture Committee’s criticism of the Greek government’s decision to close the Greek public broadcaster.
The closing of the ERT ensembles is a damage to the sustainable musical structures in Greece. The EMC will continue to follow the developments of ERT and in particular its ensembles, and appeals to decision makers to restore the ensembles so that they can continue their professional and successful work.
This statement is also endorsed by the Executive Board of the International Music Council.
The European Music Council contributes to a better mutual understanding among peoples and their different cultures and to the right for all musical cultures to coexist. It acknowledges the significant role that music and culture play for the political and societal development of a peaceful and integrative Europe. Therefore it advocates on local, national and European level for an appropriate framework for music, music professionals and access to music. The EMC provides exceptional value to its membership by building knowledge, creating networking opportunities, supporting and enhancing the visibility of initiatives that help sustain people’s participation in music and cultural life.