ATHENS, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Two major Greek newspapers with long history did not go to print on Wednesday due to strike of about 1,000 journalists, technicians and administrative personnel who have not received salaries for several months.
Ta Nea (The News) of Lambrakis Press group (DOL) and Ethnos (the Nation) of Pegasus group, both launched in the early 20th century, have been two of Greek's best-selling newspaper for decades.
They survived wars, but have been hit hard in the six-year debt crisis, which has taken a toll on media sector due to decreased advertisement revenues.
Ethnos did not circulate only during the 1970s military dictatorship. Nea was not printed only during anti-austerity strikes called by media unions in recent years.
Employees in the debt-ridden media groups DOL and Pegasus have not been paid since August this year.
In protest, the journalists' unions called on Tuesday a 24-hour rolling strike until the 1,000 households receive at least the Christmas bonus ahead of the holidays.
In addition, DOL's three websites, which are among the most popular in Greece, are also not being updated. VIMA FM radio station is off the air and the group's magazines are very likely not to reach kiosks in coming days.
Similarly, in Pegasus, all print and electronic media of the group are suffering a news blackout. Unionists and employees are blaming publishers for poor management choices.
Putting aside the criticism over the reasons behind the crisis, media unions express concern that pluralism and press freedom will suffer a heavy blow should the two media groups collapse.
Media sector has started to feel the chill of economic downturn, as another major daily of the country Eleftherotypia was shut down and the private MEGA TV, operating since 1989, is teetering on the brink of collapse due to debts.