ERT (Greek state tv-radio) is dead: A blacklisted person’s lament

A few hours ago, the Greek government announced that state television and radio channels would be silenced at midnight. No public debate, no debate in Parliament, no warning. Nothing. ERT, the Greek version of the BBC, will simply fold its tent and steal into the night. As probably the only Greek commentator to have been blacklisted by ERT over the past two years, I feel I have the moral authority to cry out against ERT’s passing. To shout from the rooftops that its murder by our troika-led government is a crime against public media that all civilised people, the world over, should rise up against.

It was two years ago that the then Greek Minister of Propaganda (official title: ‘Minister for the Press’ and Government Spokesperson’) ordered the producer of an ERT(Greek state) television program never to invite me again on state television. How do I know? He did so in my presence, after a television panel was completed in which I had the audacity of pointing out to the said Minister that his account of the European Union summit he had just returned from was laughably misleading (nb. the Minister had claimed that the Greek side had succeeded in convincing our European partners to introduce the Tobin tax – a decision that, to this day, two years later, has not been made).

Of course, the wrath of the Greek government against my person had been brewing for a while, as I would regularly argue, on air, that Greece had gone bankrupt at the end of 2009 and that it was, therefore, idiotic to have secured (as we had done in May 2010) the largest bailout loan in human history to add to already unserviceable debts and on condition of reducing our national income (for this is what savage austerity does). Precisely the point which now, belatedly, the IMF has admitted to.

At first, between mid 2010 and early 2011, the Papandreou government tried to ridicule my line of argument on air. To present me as a doomsayer who could not see that Greece could turn the corner, courtesy of the bailout. I was even accused of High Treason by the then General Secretary of the Finance Ministry. But as time passed and calls for a ‘debt restructure’ began to be voiced by other commentators too, ERT producers started telling me that government officials were leaning on them to keep me off television screens. Still, even after the Propaganda Minister issued his verbal order, ERT producers kept inviting me, in defiance of their political masters. However, one day things came to a head.

Just before I was interviewed on ERT’s NET main news bulletin, Ms Elli Stai (the anchor) asked of me, almost as a favour, that I do not speak the two ‘forbidden’ words: ‘debt restructuring’. Her concern was that, if I keep talking about a ‘debt restructure’, a haircut of Greek debt, the pressure from government to keep me off the screens would become inexorable. Naturally, the first thing I spoke off on that very program was the “inevitability of the debt’s restructuring”. That was the moment the proverbial camel’s back was broken – and I never again appeared on ERT television.[1] Since then I remain well and truly blacklisted on Greek state radio and television.

In view of the above, you may think, dear reader, that the government’s decision to close down ERT tonight would leave me cold; even enthuse me. Not in the slightest! For whatever the faults of our public broadcaster, however suggestible its producers may be to government officials, our public media are the only chance we have of news, current affairs and cultural programs that run through audiences as a civilising force. Our only possibility of programs that are provided for their contents’ worth, packing values that are irreducible to prices and advertising revenues.

Naturally, public media can be terrible. Just like public schools and hospitals, even the public system of justice and the courts, can be awful. Still, public media offer us (like public schools, courts and hospitals) a shot at civilising our social world. Without them, we are at the mercy of the Rupert Murdochs of the planet who, having heard of the Greek government’s decision, are surely getting nasty ideas on how the Greek model can be exported to Britain (BBC beware!), to Australia (ABC you are next!), to everywhere there is money to be made from dismantling public media.

So, coming from the heart of one that has blacklisted for two years by ERT, I must say: At the stroke of midnight tonight, when ERT television and radio channels go silent, we shall all become poorer citizens. All over the planet.


[1] For some reason ERT3, the Thessaloniki based channel, never received that ‘order’ and they kept, to their credit, inviting me to appear. One explanation I received of this ‘inconsistency’ was that the order was verbal (as a written down order would have been unconstitutional) and had to be relayed mouth-to-mouth. It seems that this ‘transmission’ mechanism never reached the producers in Thessaloniki!

81 thoughts on “ERT (Greek state tv-radio) is dead: A blacklisted person’s lament

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  2. Today is September the 21st. Nothing has changed with regard to the “replacement” of the former Greek public broadcaster ERT with the new “DT” (Dimosia Tileorasi) and the content of the latter.

    The “transitional” Greek “public broadcaster” DT (Dimosia Tileorasi) can not be called a public broadcasting channel or even a proper channel at all.

    The channel is a disaster and I’m afraid it will continue to be a (disastrous) transitional channel for ever or in best case eventually be replaced by a state propaganda channel (or perhaps that’s what it already is – I’m quite confused by now).

    Also the Greek parliament channel Vouli that used to send live from the Greek parliament is now (in the daytime) only sending a tableau with the evening program, which today – and all the other days – starts (at 18.00 hrs) with dated documentaries (seemingly from the ERT archives).

    When you watch Greek television now, you get the feeling there has been a coup d’état. The blandness of the reprised programs of the private channels, the absence of ERT and the addition of the “transitional”channel gives you a ghostlike feeling.

    Just a few hours ago I watched the program “Proini Enimerosi” (“Morning Information”):

    Four people including the presenter were sitting around a table, presumable discussing in real-time (with the time showing in the down left corner), but there was absolutely no relation whatsoever between the voices and the picture! . The total absence of synchronization cannot be explained simply in terms of technique. They should be able to master the technique! No, the program in question – and the whole “DT” is just a façade for something that feels very obscure (hidden agendas), threatening and very dangerous.

    The unacceptable bad quality of the new broadcaster is not in line with the guarantees EBU President, Mr Jean-Paul Philippot, received from the Greek government in June. following the chocking and dictatorial close down of ERT.

    Who’s helping Greece?

    • Thank you for this update. You are quite right: ERT and its ‘replacement’ offer a window into the nasty turn toward totalitarianism that this government has chosen. Perhaps Physsas’ murder will stop them on their tracks. Perhaps not. (Also, watch this space for my very personal history of ERT – as it will appear in the WrW Review shortly.)

    • The situation resembles a withdraw symptoms situation for the state-fed junkies. Their state propaganda stations are out, with nothing to replace their crap.

      Complete turkey treatment.

      I actually like DT. For the fist time as far as I can remember, the was a fist rated movie I the evenings, not broadcasted before, shown without any commercials and uninterrupted! And there are no commercials at all.

      That is how you build up a public broadcaster from the beginning, where no public broadcaster has ever existed at all.

  3. Well Greece can only be poorer by closing ERT down.
    The rest of Greek TV is abysmal and seriously for the retarded.
    Ce la vie!

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  5. Pingback: IMF shut down of Greek state TV — State of Globe

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  7. The enlightenment of the populace is the type of intangible expense that was partly to blame for Greece’s Weimar Republics attitude. Something as unquantifiable as culture in local television belies to the fact you think Rupert Murdock’s news is less important. Choosing winners and censoring others is contrary to helping society. Something you should of noticed when they tried to censor you.

  8. The citizens probably should have paid some taxes and stopped working off the books, then maybe the country wouldn’t be in such a state.

  9. For Theo, to echo your point, search on “The Market as God”, an essay by Harvard theologian Harvey Cox. In it, he talks about how free market fundamentalism has become essentially a religion, including with apologies for seeming unneeded suffering. You can look at my website for some alternatives — like strengthening the gift economy, improving local subsistence, Local Exchange Trading Systems, a basic income to soften the exchange economy, and more democratic participatory government planning.

    I also wrote an essay back in 2008 (when Greece ran out of tear gas) called “Getting Greece and Iceland to be 99% self-sufficient by mass; international consortium” which focused mainly on the self-reliance aspect. As I said there: “Now, does this make any sense if you understand the possibilities of open manufacturing or an open society? In Greece you have a warm climate, access to oceans, lots of sun and wind, an educated populace with a 2000+ year history of democracy (on and off :-), no obvious external enemies declaring war, and so on. And they are so worried about their future ability to make and use things (which is how I translate “fears for Greece’s economic future”) that they are running out of tear gas? This all makes no *physical* sense. The place should be a paradise. Instead it is in “self-destruct mode” according to one editor. It must be *ideology*. Or, more correctly, ideology *embodied* in a certain type of productive infrastructure.”

    I suggested an international consortium employing thousands of young Greeks to rethinking the Greek economy along lines of self-sufficiency and sustainability (like with 3D printers, solar panels, increased recycling, and so on) and created related free software and open content. However Greece decides to move forward, putting in place some kind of healthy economic ideology is probably the biggest hurdle. It is important to see that any real economy is a mix of transactions of five types: subsistence, gift, exchange, planned, and theft. The mix a country wants will be specific to its culture. Free market fundamentalism tries to make all transactions into exchange transactions — while often ignoring various thefts like pollution, or increased public risks, or giveaways of public resources to private concerns who socialize costs and privatize gains. Many human needs don’t fit that exchange model well.

    Anyway, I wonder if the fired ERT employees who care about public broadcasting will work together through ERT WebTV (supported by Union of OTE as Fasut wrote) to keep some sort of public video-based journalism alive?.Now they are without many of the old constraints since they have little to lose. They can operate more within the gift economy than the planned economy or exchange economy now as they had been.

  10. I live in the USA and when I look at the Greek situation it seems that the EU is creating the next batch of Hitlers and Stalins. Here in the USA we have our own problems. Everywhere I look I see the end of democracy and the rule of law.

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  12. What goes next? Shall we have internet access in the next months here in Greece? I feel more imprisoned now in “free” “democratic” Greece than ever a real prisoner has felt! Not to tell about how poor we are already!

  13. Yani,

    I am completely dumbfounded by this post. This is the most promising news out of Greece in a million years. Public employees, ACTUALLY FIRED! How does this not fill you with overwhelming gaiety? Of course they will be back in a couple of months and you’ll have your crappy programs back, but at least it’s something.

    That being said, everybody has their favorite things that the public sector does. And they defend them against cuts. You picked ERT. But these people are thieves, Yani. Just like all entrenched special interest groups sucking at the teat of the Greek state. 300 million euros per year!

    Finally, this is 2013 not 1950. The “culture” provided by the public broadcasters is a joke, and even if it weren’t the internet provides so much more. When one is only a few clicks away from more culture and knowledge than can ever be digested in a lifetime, why do we need some asinine pseudointellectual on TV to tell us what we should digest and enjoy?

    • Right…There are some more promising news coming out very soon Alexandros…stay tuned! Finally all crappy ERT programmes closed down and private media will now flourish our intellectual. Crappy public education and health follow suit, Wow how sweet!
      Crappy tax office too…Council Offices as well…

      Dear Samaras Put all thieves behind the bars but do not do so before selling all our crappy public prisons. We can keep army forces, police and fire-brigate for a couple of years I guess cause we need them helping us purifying and eventually monetise our crappy society!

      Let the benevolent private Greek and International wizardry take charge at last damned!… and there will be no crap again! Pay or Die!

      There is no such thing as market…Market is so sexy!!!

      Eventually public employees got fired…FREEDOOOOOOOM!!!!

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  15. From the beginning of the crisis ERT was leading the propaganda in favour of the measures imposed by the troika. Now that those measures hit their door they shout that they are unfair.

    Its paytime dudes…

    • The only dude I see is you. Read more carefully the above article and try to think (if you know what this is).

    • …so according to you, ERT wasn’t doing propaganda in favour of the current economic program that brought Greece having 28% unemploynment and recession for more than 6 years in a row.

      Or, “trying to think harder”, the “poor” guys were forced to do it… for an average salary of 70.000 euros per year, when the avarage salary in Greece is five times lower…

  16. Even more important than ERT closure is the new decree – neither presented to parliament or debated – which gives government ministers the power to shut down public entities. To then proceed to immediately shut down the public broadcasting corporation means that all reliable broadcasting information – to evaluate this astonishing, undemocratic new power – is also eliminated.

    The first move in coup d’etats is to take over broadcasting studios, leaving the population in the dark.

    Of course some of the commentators here will point out that the private stations (owned entirely by oligarchs) will fill the gap. In between the turkish soap operas….No, they won’t.

    The most important, terrifying thing here are the principles at stake. Of democratic accountability, and new juntaesque power resting in the hands of a few partisan ministers who were not voted in on that basis or understanding by the greek public.

    Further, all greeks pay directly and visibly for ERT: but of course we have not been consulted. Furthermore the ERT archives are a unique institution in Greece: an unrivalled historical repository. With ERT now dark, supposedly for 3 months, can we be sure this is not been tampered with?

    During these 3 months will the private stations step up to the bat to give balanced news? Or step in to skew the news to the ND line, since they are owned by ND cronies.

    Arguments that this is to please Troika are even more outrageous.

  17. the only restructuring that should be done is restructuring of the EU. starting with doing away at the non-elected people at the top…

  18. Yani, the BBC and ABC may well soon come under threat, but the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – one of the world’s finest – is now ACTUALLY under threat. Yesterday the right wing Harper government tabled a proplosal to withdraw all funding to CBC :

    “Tuesday, Harper’s Conservatives issued policy resolutions to be debated at the Party’s Convention in Calgary on June 27/29. Among them:
    “The Conservative Party believes that the CBC should move to a user-supported model.” (page 24)
    Eliminat(e)… all public funding of the corporation (CBC) which creates unfair competitive advantage with privately owned and operated networks and stations.” (page 36)

  19. The world media report that the closure of ERT is a frantic attempt of the Greek government to show *anything* to the creditors. Because, as always so far, it completely failed to fulfill the contractual obligations it signed to get even more credit. Apparently, the promised privatisations and the reduction of the public sector are making close to zero progress.

  20. 1) I view this as a desperate and anti public relations move of the Samaras government, but I can understand it, because they are between Scylla and Charibdis to show a firing of useless personnel so as to have a hiring of needed in hospitals etc which was in the last agreement.

    2) Nobody in his/her senses can deny the cultural advantages of the ERT we know, for our society.

    3) Nobody aware of public issues should ignore that ERT is/was a wasp’s nest of an innumerable number of people eating at the public trough through political pull,.This is an old story. In my family circle I know of one very good producer who used a political pull to get a post ( now retired), this is what has corrupted the public sector. The second case from my family circle involves a lady who received the salary of a cleaner but lived on her island with the task of gathering votes for her party ( pasok as it happens).

    4) Everybody should be aware of the power of organized unions. What we saw these last 12 hours would have lasted for weeks if the restructuring happened gradually: useless people given the pink slips as happens in the private sector. They ( Samaras) chose the fastest route betting on the short memory of the collective public.

    Professor, the reason that they could ban you is the same reason that created this public monster, political influence in the hiring so the people obey their masters particularly the well payed ones, on pain of dismissal at the first chance.

    I wish I could foresee that the ERT out of the ashes of this one will pick the best people truly , and serve the public and not the parties. Well, some people believe in the resurrection of the dead. All of Greece is an ensemble of self serving clans turned into unions.

  21. Shooting your own foot, that’s what it is. A national broadcast media to be shut off because of a bad management? Whose idea was this? Do they realize the momentum here? Close to the point where we start making us believe in ourselves, in a better future for our children, trying to prove our best against all odds? It’s not the numbers, it’s the spirit. The spirit, that most of you economists loudly proclaim, as the driving force for the recovery.

    There are symbolisms with much greater power than money and state’s economics. Symbolisms of pride for our cultural legacy. For those who don’t know, ERT is not only a broadcast media, it creates culture in and out of screen.

    How dangerously naive can someone be to believe that Greeks want a more popular national TV broadcaster, one more puppet in the series? We do have plenty of them. From now on, we’ll have just them!

    • Can you really understand how close to a better future this momentum was?
      Ι think you can’t.

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  23. don’t be naive. The greek goverment did the worst restructuring of public sector service, with the worst way, and possibly with the worst impact in world media.. I hope the scenario does not incolve any real victims

    • Well, 2800 people out of work without warning counts as “victims” in my book. Plus, the added cultural value of ERT: Yanis fails to mention its incredible radio and television archive, its photographic archive, its orchestra etc.

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  26. Over-the air broadcasting back up now. Union of OTE (ex-public phone company) employees said they will help keep ERT WebTV running. The site is now up but still doesn’t stream (maybe people massively turning to the net gateway throttled their bandwidth).

  27. You were perfectly clear in your vision that Greece was bankrupt since 2009 and that all that followed was prolonging the disease, leading to death. A better solution it would have been to be realistic about it, go back to drachma and pay your way out via inflation. It would have been painful but, by now, things would have been almost back to normal. Yet, in this situation, deplorable, I don’t consider it a complete ERT closure – it will re-open soon (the government promised it and I surely hope so) but salaries aligned with the market realities. There is no other way to beat-up unions in their unrealistic demands. Even here, in Canada, it is estimated that the public sector pays, for the same position, up to 42% more than the private one pays. This has to stop – because it gives incentives to bloat government infrastructures.

    • So why do you think that the wage the private sector pays to its employess is the just one? If private sector enjoys 42% less labour cost, how much more profit does it make from this and how this profit is distributed to those willing to work there with less money, allegedly being more “productive” and “efficient”? How much more or less intensive perhaps, s their work in comparison with the public sector and what are the implications of this on their well-being in and out of work? How much money does the private sector get from the public for research regarding R&D? How much more unrealistic are these unions demands in comparison with the astronomical bonuses CEO’s enjoy or with the wages given to workers currently squeezed in the ”industrial” south by privately and public owned but market oriented cooperations for the sake of Western society’s fancy affluency? But what am I saying…These is just not economics I guess…

    • I have worked both in public and private sector as an IT technologist. How more or less intensive is their work?! What in the private sector is done – well – with 1 employee, in the public sector is done – badly – with 5 employees (not because they are bad but because of the culture.Who enjoys the profit?! YOU could be enjoying the profit, should you become a shareholder of a private company; and private pension plans enjoy these profits. Yes, CEO’s pay is outrageous but Unions have become – in some cases – as outrageous. We’d like to think that we’re an island but with the global economy, we’re not.

    • There are 3 ways to spend the money:
      a) somebody’s money on yourself: then you are interested in QUALITY (price is of no concern)
      b) your money on somebody else: then you are interested in PRICE
      c) somebody else’s money on somebody else: then you are NOT interested neither in PRICE nor in QUALITY – and this is where the government is at.

    • lol, anyone that argues against unions just don’t understand history, economics, or morality. Why would a, lets say road worker, be upset with a union road worker that is getting paid closer to what they should? As long as rats are okay with picking up the scraps, the masters in charge of controlling wages will keep throwing them. The people of the world should all unite, and realize that the only way to fight tyrants is to use our numbers. Yea, everyone has a right to work, and that is what most anti-union advocates want, but to accept that you are worth less than some prick pushing numbers, that’s plain foolish. Don’t fight those in the same boat yourself, take 1 of the 1000 that that rich guy is hoarding on the beach collecting dust!

  28. Total media blackout right now in the country. The junta minions are shutting down every transmitter everywhere, with it every channel, both public and private! Websites are down The military will soon fill the streets, the question is on whose side?

    • I retract the part about the private channels. I saw the foreign public digital channels cut off and I presumed the domestic private ones would be down too.

  29. And all of this for what 30somehting milion per year … which btw 90% of public spending gets back to goverment and with a factor of 1+ you loose 60 million of the capital flow per year.
    Let alone 2+something families that may starve

    Worse is that there many brainwashed Greeks who are in favor of this claiming is puplic sector fault all over again so they desrver this …

  30. If someone was doubting about the outsold of the Greek State until this morning, now everyone knows about it. A state without own voice, a dumb state, doesnot exist for long.
    Democracy is finally dead. Long live the dictatorship.

    • It’s ridiculous cries like this that make people insensitive to the rare reasonable claims of the Left in Greece. How could a government be a dictatorship, if it decides and acts according to the rules of a democracy? Or is it a democracy when certain party’s views are taken into consideration, otherwise a dictatorship?

    • While I can agree about exagerration, I invite you to explain on what basis ERT’s shutdown was ‘democratic’

    • No, TRUE democracy is 2 mil people in the public sector living off the back of 2.5 mil people in the private sector – and having a lifestyle above and beyond what the ones in private sector can ever dream of.

    • I certainly agree with you there. More than 100% if there is such a thing!

      My point is slightly different.
      ie ERT in itself is an institution of value.
      Instead of respecting ERT, politicians have endlessly abused it.
      This is a problem of corrupt politics, not the institution ERT itself.

      ERT workers are by definition public servants.

      Here in Greece, the public service has been infinitely damaged and corrupted by political abuse.
      This does not mean that public service is inherently bad.
      Public service should be the noblest of careers.
      But it is up to correct and honest politicians to make it so.

      Public institutions and public service, as conceived and defined by law, are highwater marks of healthy civilisation. By definition they are apart from politics and non-partisan.

      But it takes non-corrupted politicians to protect and respect the institutions and functions of the State.

      In Greece it all comes back to the politicians.

    • Andi you are negatively disposed against something that can be seen as public and you believe that markets are the solution, where there is no practical evidence that can show the merits of markets worldwide…And with this I don’t mean GDP growth rates or the increase in the level of consumption…There are other things that cannot be assigned with a market value…Things that are priceless. And the most importand things in life do not have any money value. All our feelings do not have any market value unless if you reduce them in to utility maximasation nonsense…

      If the state would not have introduced internet maybe you would not be able to work in IT. It was then all private companies starting to loot society by the creation of rediculous, luxurious needs that themselves were again there to satisfy…Not to mention about patterns and intelectual property rights and relevant shit like that…

      At least show a kind of appreciation to those worked and still working hard in the public sector worldwide to produce public goods which then has been patronised by private initiatives…There are of course public employees, probably the majority of them who again loot, enjoying some kind of privilages and immunity compared with other members of our society, working in the private sector or being unemployed who are hammered by the market-way thinking. Of course it’s private interest that make all those public employees to behave like that.

      If you think that dividents from shares can solve the problem of inequality and just distribution, there is no point of arguing anymore…

      Society is not a bunch of software language lines…Everyone who seems that holds the global answer in a couple of bullet points is either naive or an Austrian economist…Maybe both which is the case most of the times

    • @politis161: erm… precisely, the fovernment does not decide and does not act according to the ruled of democracy. What on earth are you on?

    • @Andi: 2 million? God you’re funny,,, also, “living off the back” – yeah, try living without public health, schooling, security services, blahblahblah. Ridiculousness reaches new levels. Lifestyle beyond dreams? Surely, you live on some planet where public servants are paid handsomely.

      And, I like the fact that you are against those 2 million (still laughing here) and not against the few thousands of people living off the backs of the rest of the country.

      Grow up, and learn some -very- basic economics.

  31. One could sympathise with your underlying idea, but isn’t broadcast TV an outdated and grossly inefficient method to deliver public journalism? Your argument would have made sense in the 1980s when television was the main “pipe” for “live” information transmission available to most ordinary people, but this is the 21st century where internet access is broadly available (and where it isn’t, better fund access than legacy technologies).

    Even the BBC, possibly the best of a bad bunch, probably uses a few percents at most of its resources for producing real public-interest output. It is a massive waste of public resources to have to fund £10 of dross due to the legacy media format and legacy funding channels to produce £1 or less worth of public interest content. To add insult to injury, in many countries such institutions are funded through what has become an inequitous and regressive per-household flat rate tax, which is totally indefensible.

    Greece might be unwittingly at the avant-garde here in ditching legacy tech and reducing public wastage before most other countries!

    • Sorry, don’t agree.

      Public broadcasters are the only channels offering cultural and historical content of high quality; this is part of their remit. More important nowadays, in the face of Fox and Murdoch, they are the only channels who must offer ALL sides of public debates and give equal platformtime to all political parties.

      Furthermore, in times of crisis public broadcasting is obliged to cancel its other programmes as needed to cover events as they unfold.

      May I point out that last night not a single private channel cancelled its movies and sitcoms to follow the ERT closure? Literally, once ERT was forced off the air we the greek public had no ability to follow events last night.

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  33. Dear Yiannis, I take back that I have called you a traitor before. Forgive me!

    But please Yiannis, can’t you start talk the same stuff as professor Richard Werner et.al. ?
    -Nationalize the power to issue credit, and don’t ever borrow money from a banker again!
    Please Yiannis respond to me in private at least.
    lasse.l.karagiannis AT gmail.com

  34. Reading the introduction to this: “ERT, the Greek version of the BBC(!!)…”, let alone the brief eulogy at the end, I realise you are either very home sick and in deep nostalgic mood, or you never really watched them or listened to their radio stations (any of the dozens they had)…

    • THANK YOU FOR THIS COMMENT!!! This was the most ridiculous part in this article. The closing of ERT was overdue and I really welcome it. The only sad point is that the government wasn’t able to establish a real journalistic independent TV and radio channel before they closed this money burning machine.

    • A. Stroinerle, you make the mistake of believing that the government WANTS to have “a real journalistic independent TV and radio channel.” This move very neatly and efficiently accomplishes the opposite, and all but ensures the “new” ERT will be more closely dependent on political influence than before.

    • @Cook
      How could a 3-party government comprising parties that range from right-wing to left-wing establish a broadcasting organization depending on more political influence than the government of a single party, either NΔ or ΠΑΣΟΚ?

  35. Yanis,
    Congratulations for your sense of justice. It is sad to see here the last televised broadcastings from control room in ERT HQs.
    It reminds strongly the last minutes of radio broadcasting of the then ERT in 1941, just before the nazi occupation of Athens.
    The problem is far less than the government does not govern. The worse thing is that they believe they govern. And they don’t listen to wise voices.
    Rather they character kill them , as a ND MP did on you recently (ον ΑΝΤ1) by stating that you are just theory professor and not a practical man.
    And this ignorance that only theory based actions can improve things in every aspect of life (that is what science is after all about) combined with extravagant arrogance, means the total collapse of Greece is inevitable. Unless…
    George Kakarelidis

    • Science is about facts; this is well-known, even Mr. Varoufakis says so as a professor. Perhaps you should check how close to reality are the claims Mr. Varoufakis has been making since the crisis emerged, to really appreciate the difference between (bad) theory, ideology and reality.

  36. How horrible. Horrible that they blacklisted – of all people – you. And horrible that one can close the greek version of the BBC…It’s a bit like making universities always more dependable of company-sponsoring. Our german version is sometimes halfblind too, especially when it came to reports about Greece since years now – yet it still is so much more reliable (you can at least read between the lines, you are not, as reader/viewer, seen like an idiot that they love to manipulate with crap) than many other media.

    • Excuse me, but I think that tou are talking in ignorance or …
      (I don’t want to epxress the thought that passed through my mind)
      It’s a pity though. We feel once more we are living in a dictatorship.

    • This is nonsense.

      1) Assuming that restructuring of the organization is necessary, restructuring can be done without shuttering the organization for any amount of time, let alone “only” three months. The Greek political system is badly in need of restructuring: should we insist on it being closed for repairs until reforms are announced?

      2) “Only for 3 months”—which is not an official statement, by the way—is half a lifetime, given the pace of developments over the past 4 years. It makes me very suspicious about what the government might have planned for the next 90 days.

      3) The restructuring will now be done in a way that cannot help but be seen as political. The fact that this was done by decree, without warning and without any parliamentary or public debate, makes this a clear move to increase the dependency of ERT on the ruling party (note I don’t say parties), rather than bolstering its independence. And when the 2656 ERT employees are “invited” to re-apply for their jobs, who do you think will be making the decisions?

      4) The final straw for me: the legislative decree that gave ministers the power to take this unilateral step is based on Article 44 of the Constitution, an article which begins (in the official English translation): “Under extraordinary circumstances of an urgent and unforeseeable need…” Do we really believe that ERT is so extraordinarily, suddenly, and unforeseeably broken? Is it truly a matter of national emergency that ERT be restructured, or is this a monstrous abuse of self-granted government power?

    • You don’t need to close it down in order to restructure it. And by no means, did any government official explain why does it need to be restructured and what ”restructure” means. Furthermore, there is no apparent cleansing concerning those who took advantage of the public broadcasting network since many of those were put there by the governing parties. My guess is that many of those will still hold their place when and if these channels reopen. I’m clearly being cynical here though. The bottom line is that what has happened in Greece- and I’m focusing on the manner that this event took place-, could not happen in a society that wants to call itself democratic. Any debate on this is deeply apologetic towards a very hierarchical and deeply disturbing political status.

    • Yes, it’s mandatory that Greek state media are fully subordinated to Mr Samaras’ gang and the scandalous private tv stations.

    • Stelio what else do you think is “mandatory” in Greece? Or otherwise…Just name one thing that is not “mandatory” to be changed …How naive someone should be when perceives this as some kind of a benevolent action on behalf of this government so as to rationalise Greek state tv/radio. How rational is this when there is no definite restructuring plan produced before, or any kind of debate of how this should happen? Who is to blame,first for the Greek state tv/radio comedown if not the state officers, ministers, prime ministers and political parties? Who else could really agree with government’s autocratic and despotic decision except the Golden Dawn along with the private national or international ‘‘para-media’’, Murdoch-like owners, reminiscents of Gebels…Alas, market maniacs are desperate to dismantle anything that still remains under some kind of public control, strafing heartlessly showing no mercy at all…not because they want to make mountains of money, but mainly because of their perverted idealistic fundamentalism that market should prevail over any other institution. Market of course then will reward their piety and this time they don’t have to wait for the afterlife…but money is not the main case here. I wish it was I dare to say…
      The First Crusade is still in full operation in Greece. Market’s inquisition is next…Adopt or convert to the only true dogma: Market…Pay for your salvation sinners…Pay or burn in fire!

    • Sure, and all the other measures they have taken up to now were temporary, of course.

      What naiveté…

    • Sure, like all the other measures they have taken up to now were temporary; of course!

      What naiveté..

    • are you serious mate!! what does ‘only for 3 months’ mean??!! first of all, the nearly 3,000 employees, who will be laid off will be fully compensated with sums prior to 2009 costs! could’t the government have restructured public TV without closing it down for 3 months!!!?? couldn’t they have fired employees while the stations were on air??!! either you are naive and ignorant, or a shill. take your pick

    • You are absolutely right Rocco. They could’ve restructured without complete closure – they are just showing off to the Troika. Consider also reports that some of these now laid-off ERT staff have not been paid since November 2012; do you really think they will reopen in 3 months AND are they really getting compensation?????!!!!

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