SYRIZA parliamentary spokesman and lawmaker Nikos Xydakis on Monday admitted to having exaggerated when he said that the state-run ERT broadcaster is “tragic.”
“I respect and honor ERT,” Xydakis said on a Monday morning television talk show responding to criticism of his comments, made on Sunday at the Delphi Economic Forum.
In the panel discussion on “Protecting the Fourth Estate: Democracy, Accountability and the Media,” Xydakis had described the situation at the state-run broadcaster as being “tragic and third world.”
His comments prompted an exchange of heated statements between opposition New Democracy and the SYRIZA press office, but also a demand for a retraction and an apology from ERT President Dimitris Tsaknis.
In his response on Monday he said that had been over-the-top in his statement but added that mistakes were made in relaunching ERT in May 2015 after it had been shut down for two years, saying it has been allowed to operate like a branch of the civil service.