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ND boycotts state ERT over journalist’s statement against Mitsotakis

Greece’s main opposition party New Democracy has announced that its lawmakers will no longer appear on panels of the state broadcaster ERT.  The decision comes just a few months after ruling party SYRIZA decided to boycott private SKAI TV for “one-sided propaganda against the government.”

The decision was taken in response to “offensive remarks” by an political analyst against ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“New Democracy is withdrawing all its MPs and officials from all ERT programs until [Digital Policy Minister] Nikos Pappas and his cronies come to the realization that ERT belongs to the Greek citizens who pay for it and not to SYRIZA,” ND said in a statement.

ERT journalist Sotiris Kapsochas commented on Mitsotakis’s speech at Thessaloniki International Fair saying “I thought I was listening to the Italian theorist of fascism, Sergio [Panunzio], who introduced nationalistic elements to Italy’s Mussolini.”

At TIF on Saturday, Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a package of  tax cuts should he and his party win the next parliamentary elections.

In addition to the ND boycott to ERT, vice president Adonis Georgiadis proposed earlier on Wednesday that ND members should stop paying the monthly fee of 3 euros for ERT.

ND activated Journalists’ Union ESHEA that condemned Kapsochas “exteme and offensive remarks.”

In a statement of social media, the journalist and analyst announced that he will return his membership card to the union before he would be called for an “internal investigation.”

Together with two other panelists, Kapsochas run the 2-hour political magazine “Defteri Matia” (Second Glance) from Monday to Friday with a clear pro-government approach.

ND is not the first political party boycotting a media outlet, even though a state-run.

In July, SYRIZA decided to boycott private SKAI TV right after the wildfires in Athens and a ‘retaliation’ of the fires coverage. In a statement issued on 25. July the ruling party accused Skai journalists of “vulgar attacks against the Fire Service and the Greek Police.”

“Skai can continue its relentless propaganda, slander and lies against the government without us,” the statement added.

The SYRIZA boycott is valid until today, Sept 19, with the exception of Alternate Minister for Public Order who followed an invitation earlier today for an interview.

It is not a secret that the private media outlet follows a strictly one-sided policy against the government in reports and commentaries.

Fact is that polarization hit its peak during the bailout agreements with the effect that objective journalism became a rarity in the country.

PS should ND win next elections, it can close again the ERT – as Samaras did overnight in June 2013 – and turn Skai to state broadcaster 😛

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One comment

  1. One of the most important freedoms we have in a democracy is the freedom to say what we think, tempered of course by a respect for the feelings of others. Freedom of speech means you are going to hear things you don’t like and you’re going to say things that others don’t like. Adults deal with things they don’t like by presenting a counter-argument, or by revealing the flaws in what has been said. Only a child sticks his fingers in his ears and pretends he can’t hear. If leading politicians behave like children then what hope is there for the rest of the country? Grow up for pity’s sake, there are more important things in the country than your hurt feelings – and if you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen.