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Greek Development Minister: We shutdown ERT to please the Troika

The statement of Development Minister Costis Chatzidakis is not even cynical. It simply demonstrates the inability of the Greek government to proceed to so-called needed ‘structural reforms’ and lay-off the civil servants who break the law, are incapable or were hired as a political favoritism.

Speaking to German daily “DIE WELT“, Chatzidakis admitted that the government put a padlock to Greece’s public broadcaster ERT just to please the country’s lenders, the Troika, demanding 4,000 lay-offs until the end of the year.

Chatzidakis blamed the former Minister of Administrative Reform, Anthonis Manitakis (from ex coalition junior partner Democratic Left) for the delays in lay-offs.

“There was no other choice than the sudden death of public television,” Chatzidakis told Die Welt, adding that “the closure showed the government’s determination to solve problems in Greece, although the political cost was high.”

If the truth was so simple, then why did Samaras and his advisers defame all the ERT personnel as “centre of corruption?” in an unprecedented case of propaganda?

Fact is that three weeks after the sudden death of ERT on 11. June 2013,  Greeks are still deprived of public radio and television. PM Samaras and Finance Minister Stournaras still do not abide with the decision of the Council of State to restore the frequencies on television screens. New appointed ERT-minister Kapsis has not found any solution so far as his proposals to [fired] ERT personnel are vague and demonstrate lack of a serious solution scheme.

A dialogue between the minister and personnel is performed half-hearted. Samaras has taken the decision to shut down ERT, its closure is a fact. Now a temporary institution should be established until the new ERT “NERIT” is ready to go on air.

Government offer: ERT personnel accept their dismissal, get compensation. 2,000 from a total of 2,6565 people sign two months work contracts with much lower wages and work for the transition ERT. They can apply to the new NERIT that should have a total of some 1,200 personnel.

ERT personnel: want clarification and assurance that they will maintain their labor rights and guarantee that they could receive unemployment allowance.

If ERT personnel accepts dismissal, compensation and two-months contracts with lower wages, if they don’t get hired to NERIT, they will have probably abolish their labor right to get unemployment allowance.

it’s the usual tactics of gaining time and turn the temporary into permanent. Typical Greek strategy.

Fact is also that Nea Dimocratia continues to put the all blame on the fired ERT personnel.

Samaras’ aide Lazarides told private Mega TV, that the black on screens is due to ERT personnel that has occupied the headquarters.

The ‘best’ and most illogical justification was spoken by he, himself personally, the Prime Minister:

“All those who governed made mistakes with ERT. PASOK and ND appointed people, but mostly people from the left [sic!]. The new public television will be away from partisan influences and will be staffed with meritocracy criteria. And to close the issue of sinful ERT…. you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” (Antonis Samaras on 29. June during ND congress)

BTW: Without junior partner Democratic Left, I am curious, who will be blamed for any ‘reforms’ delays.

More on ERT here

PS Attack is the best way to defend the things one cannot defend

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  1. In the meantime you could always try the BBC alternative –

    • keeptalkinggreece

      in the meantime we could always try alternatives. but noalternative to the culture programs of ERT (wonderful concerts incl)

  2. PASOK and ND appointed people, but mostly people from the left [sic!].

    He probably doesn’t even tell a lie! Just left out half of the truth… as usual.
    Truth is that after the civil war, until 1974, all state institutions were manned mostly by people who had affiliation with the right. When Papandreou came to power in 1981 one of the first, and right things, he did was appoint other people to balance things out. OK, that he failed to change the constitution so that people could be replaced and not just put aside to double the amount of civil servants is one of the reasons of the totally bloated clique now. But what he did was a correction of the one-sidedness that had grown in the decennia before…
    Look, blaming the other guy or party is like trying to unravel the Israëli/Palestinian conflict: You inevitably end up somewhere way before the birth of christ in you arguments…
    But I am glad Costis Chatzidakis is telling, at least for a part, just how it is. He did it in the past once or twice and got beaten to blood for it. It’s too little. His agenda probably is as foul as any. But at least he told the truth.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      I knew ND-people who got hired to ERT when Karamanlis came to power. that was ND too,no?

      • You couldn’t expect me to rehash the whole Greek history since the Mycenians, don’t you?
        But yep, that were ND-people. That’s part of the truth Samaras left a bit to the side… Same as that most of the deficit grew to it’s devastating stage on their watch too. But hey, at least he is telling part of the truth. 😉

  3. Outgoing minister Manitakis said that Greece will not get a flexible public sector by indiscriminately laying off 15,000 people, stressing that civil servants should be evaluated based on their productivity.

    • And incoming minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is agreeing with Manitakis when he said: “That is so the job is done properly … I am not the minister who would impose arbitrary criteria and say that everyone who is over 1.85 meters tall, is bald and wears glasses will be placed in the mobility scheme.”
      But what they both want(ed) is to postpone any decision for yet another couple of months. Like they haven’t had time for a couple of years now to hammer something out and do things “properly”.
      Think it is high time to make a dictionary of Greek New Speak with things like:
      properly = arbitrarily
      immediately = never
      structural = random