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Greece: Public TV Journalists Fired After Criticizing Minister
Written by Veroniki Krikoni On 30 October 2012 @ 10:01 am | 8 Comments
In Breaking News, Citizen Media, English, Freedom of Speech, Greece, Greek, Media & Journalism, Politics, Weblog, Western Europe
On October 29, 2012, two journalists , Kostas Arvanitis and Marilena Katsimi, were fired by the Greek Public Television (ERT) after analyzing claims by British newspaper The Guardian  of police torture of Greek anti-fascist protesters in Athens, and criticizing the Greek Minister of Public Order.
Here is  the excerpt [el] from their morning television broadcast:
Kostas Arvanitis himself explained the reason for their removal in his blog  [el]:
M. Katsimi: And here are the forensic findings for the 15 arrested people that The Guardian was writing about. For this case [Minister of Public Order] Mr. Dendias wanted to sue The Guardian
Mr. Arvanitis: Didn’t he?
M. Katsimi: He didn’t, because the findings show that it is indeed a felony.
Mr. Arvanitis: Is he going to resign now?
M. Katsimi: I do not think so. [...]
Mr. Arvanitis: And now what? Will he say he is sorry?
M. Katsimi: I do not know ….
Mr. Arvanitis: Wow… that’s difficult for Mr. Dendias. And he is from the same place as you, from Corfu.
M. Katsimi: And he is a serious man, I have to say.
Minutes later, he tweeted  [el] the news of their removal:
@karvanitis : τελικά μας έκοψε ο κος Λιάτσος http://kostasarvanitis.blogspot.gr/2012/10/blog-post_29.html … 
@karvanitis : Apparently, Mr. Liatsos cut us off… http://kostasarvanitis.blogspot.gr/2012/10/blog-post_29.html 
It's worth mentioning that ERT's recently appointed Director, Aimilios Liatsos, didn't contact the two journalists first to get information; instead they learnt about their removal from their Head Editor, as Marilena Katsimi stated to news website Zappit.gr  [el].
In a public statement  [el], Aimilios Liatsos accused Mr. Arvanitis and Ms. Katsimi of infringing journalism's Code of Ethics and defended their dismissal:
The General Directorate of ERT fully respects the rules of Free Press; it's proven in daily practice by presenting all views. However, it can not tolerate the violation of the basic standards of journalistic ethics.
The presenters of the daily magazine “Morning Information” on NET, Mr. Kostas Arvanitis and Ms. Marilena Katsimi, made unacceptable insinuations against the Minister of Public Order, Nikos Dendias, without even giving him the right to express himself, while it seemed that they commented on the case, prejudging the outcome of the judicial decision.
Mr. Dendias had announced in parliament his intention to sue The Guardian newspaper, as user Dimitris Bounias tweeted :
TVXS (TV Without Borders) website reported that [el] the journalists’ removal has become a political issue, as it started fueling intergovernmental dispute.
Social media reactions
On Facebook, many users are expressing their support to the two journalists through the TV show's Facebook page :
Margarita Zontou : Και οι μάσκες πέφτουν…
And the masks fall…
Kosmas Tseligaridis:  Ντροπή και αίσχος στους αυλοκόλακες της κρατικής τηλεόρασης. Η λογοκρισία δε θα περάσει.
Shame and disgrace to the “courtisan flatterers” of State Television. Censorship will not pass.
Twitter users are expressing their disdain using the hashtag #Dendias , requesting, amongst other things, that Dendias should quit.
User Rogiros compared [el] ERT's Director, Aimilios Liatsos, to Italian President Silvio Berlusconi:
@rogampf:  Not even Berlusconi would dare to do such a thing to RAI [the Italian public service broadcaster] like the one made by Liatsos in ERT. #Dendias  #Arvanitis  #Liatsos  #ERT 
Political parties and organizations have condemned ERT's action, while journalists at ERT/NET will launch 24-hour rolling strikes  as of October 30, until the decision on Arvanitis/Katsimi is withdrawn.
Other censorship examples have emerged recently. On September 25, a 27-year-old netizen was sent to trial after his arrest over blasphemy charges that he was maintaining a Facebook page  entitled “Gerontas Pastitsios” (Elder Pastitsios), including satirical comments against Christianity and the religious figure Elder Paisios  and his alleged “prophecies”.
On October 11, religious groups and neo-nazis protested against gay-themed play  'Corpus Christi’ in Athens, deeming it blasphemous; they assaulted a theater critic and forced the cancellation of the performance.
On October 16, Greek public TV channel NET censored a gay kiss scene from the BBC TV series ‘Downton Abbey'. “The irony of the issue is that newly appointed director of ERT/NET TV is the former director of a private channel that constantly shows Myconos wild parties and naked women butts during summer”, Keep Talking Greece mentions .
The latest case of the two journalists comes only a day after the arrest of journalist Kostas Vaxevanis , whose magazine HOT DOC published a leaked list of over 2,000 names of Greeks with bank accounts in Switzerland.
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/10/30/greece-public-tv-journalists-fired-after-criticizing-minister/
URLs in this post:
 two journalists: http://www.left.gr/article.php?id=11419
 The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/09/greek-antifascist-protesters-torture-police
 Here is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr1KTzAx8jU
 in his blog: http://kostasarvanitis.blogspot.gr/2012/10/blog-post_29.html
 he tweeted: https://twitter.com/karvanitis/status/262869071819841536
 http://kostasarvanitis.blogspot.gr/2012/10/blog-post_29.html …: http://t.co/zPbwmU8R
 Zappit.gr: http://globalvoicesonline.org http://www.zappit.gr/default.php?pname=Article&cat_id=8&art_id=18893
 public statement: http://www.iefimerida.gr/news/74224/%CE%BB%CE%B9%CE%AC%CF%84%CF%83%CE%BF%CF%82-%CE%BF-%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%B2%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%AF%CF%84%CE%B7%CF%82-%CE%BA%CE%B1%CE%B9-%CE%B7-%CE%BA%CE%B1%CF%84%CF%83%CE%AF%CE%BC%CE%B7-%CF%80%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%B1%CE%B2%CE%AF%CE%B1%CF%83%CE%B1%CE%BD-%CF%84%CE%B7-%CE%B4%CE%B7%CE%BC%CE%BF%CF%83%CE%B9%CE%BF%CE%B3%CF%81%CE%B1%CF%86%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%AE-%CE%B4%CE%B5%CE%BF%CE%BD%CF%84%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%BF%CE%B3%CE%AF%CE%B1-%CE%BC%CE%B5-%CE%B1%CF%80%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%AC%CE%B4%CE%B5%CE%BA%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85
 tweeted: https://twitter.com/DimitrisBounias/status/259014290575605760
 @DimitrisBounias: : https://twitter.com/DimitrisBounias
 #Dendias: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Dendias&src=hash
 reported that : http://tvxs.gr/news/ellada/se-politiko-zitima-ekselissetai-kopsimo-ton-arbaniti-katsimi
 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/%CE%A0%CE%A1%CE%A9%CE%99%CE%9D%CE%97-%CE%95%CE%9D%CE%97%CE%9C%CE%95%CE%A1%CE%A9%CE%A3%CE%97/222981599959
 Margarita Zontou: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150255492054960&id=222981599959
 Kosmas Tseligaridis:: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150255475569960&id=222981599959
 #Dendias: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23dendias
 @monahus: https://twitter.com/monahus/status/262887306019606528
 @blacktom1961: : https://twitter.com/blacktom1961/status/262892641123987456
 compared : https://twitter.com/rogampf/status/262967853572034560
 @rogampf: : https://twitter.com/rogampf
 #Arvanitis: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Arvanitis&src=hash
 #Liatsos: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Liatsos&src=hash
 #ERT: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ERT&src=hash
 will launch 24-hour rolling strikes: http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2012/10/29/state-net-tv-presenters-cenored-for-criticizing-public-order-minister-over-guardian-torture-report/
 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gerontas.pastitsios
 Elder Paisios: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elder_Paisios_of_Mount_Athos
 protested against gay-themed play: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/10/14/greece-theater-critic-assaulted-by-neo-nazis-and-religious-groups-protesting-play/
 mentions: http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2012/10/16/downton-abbey-greeces-state-broadcast-net-censors-gay-kiss/
 the arrest of journalist Kostas Vaxevanis: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/10/29/greek-journalist-arrested-for-publishing-list-of-alleged-tax-evaders/
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