Photos of Greek People Celebrating the Reinstatement of their BBC
This article originally appeared on VICE Greece
Two years since it was shut down by the previous Greek government as an austerity measure, Greek State Broadcaster ERT returned to the air on Thursday amid a sea of mixed feelings.
Back in November 2013 riot police entered the ERT headquarters, forcing out employees who'd been occupying the building to protest the closure since June of that year. That day, ERT was replaced by an austerity cover version of itself called NERIT and 2,656 journalists, camera operators and sound and light technicians found themselves unemployed.
ERT's reinstatement had been at the core of left-wing party Syriza's pre-election promises. However, I'm not sure anyone in Greece ever really believed it would happen.
But it did. ERT's new programme kicked off at 6AM on Thursday, the 11th of June, with Morning News and a quick rendition of the Greek national anthem. Zoi Konstantopoulou, the President of the Greek Parliament, was the first politician to cross the threshold of the ERT headquarters, while Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis made their appearances later in the afternoon.
Despite the worrisome reactions coming from opposition parties Nea Dimokratia and To Potami, ERT's employees have pledged to keep broadcasting free from political bias. Time will tell if they're successful.
Here are some photos from ERT's first day back on air.