Cilla Benkö, director general of Swedish Radio. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/Scanpix.

Swedish Radio exec criticizes Greek public broadcaster shutdown

"A punch in the belly for the free word"
5:50 min

At midnight, the Greek government made an extremely sudden move and pulled the plug on the country's public broadcaster, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, or ERT, calling it a "haven of waste". Thousands of people protested outside of the headquarters north of Athens. The European Broadcasting Union issued an open letter expressing dismay.

Cilla Benkö, who is the director general of Swedish Radio, sits on the executive board of the European Broadcasting Union and tells Radio Sweden that her initial reaction to the Greek shutdown was one of anger and disbelief.

"In a country where you claim to be a well-functioning democracy, this is unheard of," says Benkö, adding, "to have a situation where politicians, overnight, close down a public service company and more or less dismiss the whole staff, that's ... a punch in the belly for the free word."

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