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President of state broadcaster ERT, Dionysis Tsaknis, resigns criticizing gov’t policies and workers union

Dionysis Tsaknis had submitted his resignation as President of Greece’s state broadcaster ERT after two and a half years on the post. He left criticizing the government policies on ERT as well as the powerful union of workers at the state broadcaster.

According to media reports, Tsaknis decision to resign was taken during the presentation of the new board of directors by Minister for Media and Digital Policy Nikos Pappas on Tuesday. The ERT president resigned in disagreement with the government appointments for the board of directors.

62-year-old Tsaknis had threatened to resign also last August over the appointment of another director.

In his resignation letter, he accused the government ministers and SYRIZA of the appointments procedures and spoke clearly of “state funded unionists.”

“Not one of the present officials defended my person when the the representative of the most sick part of state-funded unionism aspersed my ethics and my honesty,” the now ex ERT president wrote characteristically.

Singer and songwriter Dionysis Tsaknis was appointed as ERT President in May 2015. It is not clear so far who will replace him.

A couple of days ago, another member of the board of directors was removed from his position. Musician Michalis Grigoriou told media he learned about his removal  “from the newspapers” and when the decision was already published in the official Government Gazette.

There is a lot of criticism against ERT with left- and right-wingers to complain that the state broadcaster had turned into a propaganda tool for the government, mostly for SYRIZA less for its junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL).

It is not the first time that governing parties use the state broadcaster as a party broadcaster.

However, all those who fought for ERT after it was closed-down over night by the Samaras government in summer 2013, had hoped that the left-wing coalition government would bring things right.

Unfortunately, it did not, especially in the information part of the program. News presenters report of the government achievements with their brightest smile, one can hear of even five statements issued by SYRIZA on several issues within a just 15-minute-long news program. At the same time, the support for government policies is often deafening and challenging for the democratic thinking Greeks.

As for the entertainment program… it often has “the stamp of ideological and aesthetic obsessions” that make the program mostly boring.

I have not counted so far how many  Russian TV series are being broadcast.

But to be fair, there are also some information programs or documentaries that are top! The ERt under SYRIZA sometimes deals with issues that no state broadcaster would deal before – and not even private TV stations.

I want to believe that Tsaknis at least managed to cut off  news presenters’ and reporters’ habit to praise themselves for managing a live stream, for example, something that should be the obvious for a state broadcaster.

However, nobody has managed to fix the technical problems during the live links with correspondents, even if they are in another part of Athens.

PS now ERT workers union POSPERT lashes out against Tsaknis, as the pathetic wheel of Greek realities keeps on turning.

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