Thursday October 2, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
PM gambles on closure of state broadcaster ERT

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras potentially staked the future of his coalition government on Tuesday on a decision to shut down public broadcaster ERT and dismiss some 2,700 employees, a choice that did not have the approval of his coalition partners and was met with derision from opposition parties and TV and radio employees.

Although there had been rumors over the past few days that the government would opt for closing ERT as a way to reduce civil servant numbers, Tuesday’s announcement by spokesman Simos Kedikoglou took millions of Greeks by surprise. Kedikoglou claimed that ERT suffered from a “lack of transparency” and was a source of waste.

“The Greek people are paying for ERT, which has three times, even eight times, as much staff as it needs,” he said. The government, he said, was sacrificing one of the public sector’s “sacred cows.” Greeks pay roughly 300 million euros a year in license fees for ERT that are levied through their electricity bills. Kedikoglou said that these charges would not apply until a leaner and more efficient public broadcaster is set up.

Sources told Kathimerini that Samaras had discussed the closure of ERT with several close advisers and government officials and saw the move as one that would show his determination to carry out the structural reforms being demanded by Greece’s lenders.

Kathimerini also understands that the premier brought up the issue with his coalition partners, Evangelos Venizelos of PASOK and Fotis Kouvelis of Democratic Left, when the trio met on Monday. Venizelos and Kouvelis refused to give their consent for ERT to be closed down even though Greece has promised the troika it would sack 2,000 civil servants this summer, 4,000 by the end of the year and 14,000 by the end of 2014. The ministers from the two junior parties did not sign the legislative act published in the Government Gazette yesterday allowing public enterprises to be shut down.

The announcement prompted terse responses from both coalition partners, who said they had not been involved in the decision, and sharp criticism from opposition parties. “The state broadcaster cannot be closed down,” PASOK said in a statement, adding that the party supported “bold and genuine reforms” but opposed “irresponsible and dangerous public relations stunts.” PASOK spokesman Yiannis Maniatis also slammed conservative New Democracy for sidelining the junior partners. “A coalition government comprising three partners cannot function through faits accomplis,“ Maniatis said, adding that “important matters must be decided by all party leaders.”

Democratic Left, for its part, issued a statement saying that it “radically disagreed” with the closure of ERT, adding that it was “inconceivable” for a European country not to have a state television channel, even for an hour.

SYRIZA leader, Alexis Tsipras, called on both coalition partners to take “a clear position” on the move, which he described as “a coup d’etat” and said his party was considering bringing a censure motion against the government if it goes ahead with the closure.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday June 11, 2013 (21:29)  
Marble door discovered in Amphipoli reinforces theory of ancient Macedonian tomb
Six face prosecutor for bank robberies, terrorist activity
Explosive device found at Athens Stock Exchange building
Kasidiaris-Kanelli hearing postponed to December 12
Draghi says ECB will purchase assets for at least two years
The European Central Bank will buy assets for at least two years to boost inflation and economic growth in the euro area. The Frankfurt-based central bank will start buying covered bonds thi...
Draghi says ready to do more to fight low inflation
The European Central Bank is ready to use further unconventional policy tools if needed to stave off the risk of inflation remaining too low for too long, ECB President Mario Draghi said on ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Rosenberg confident after win over Olympiakos
Malmoe captain Markus Rosenberg scored twice in the Swedes' 2-0 win over Olympiakos on Wednesday and illustrated his confidence in the team after the game. Rosenberg capitalized on slack def...
SOCCER
Rosenberg punishes Olympiakos´s errors at Malmoe
A disappointing Olympiakos got the worst possible result from its clash with Malmoe in Sweden for the Champions League, going down 2-0 on Wednesday due to its own defensive errors and attack...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
There´s money, still
The decision reached by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his deputy, Evangelos Venizelos, to seek a vote of confidence in Parliament on October 6, is a final attempt to restore order in th...
EDITORIAL
Confidence and corrections
The government must secure a vote of confidence in Parliament. Any other development would see the country enter very turbulent waters. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his cabinet must ag...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Draghi says ECB will purchase assets for at least two years
2. Draghi says ready to do more to fight low inflation
3. Marble door discovered in Amphipoli reinforces theory of ancient Macedonian tomb
4. Rosenberg confident after win over Olympiakos
5. ECB holds rates, shifting focus to new purchase plans
6. Six face prosecutor for bank robberies, terrorist activity
more news
Today
This Week
1. Doctors, medical employees strike over staff shortages, wages
2. Court to hear Kasidiriaris-Kanelli case
3. Air travel to run smoothly after air traffic controllers' weekend strike deemed illegal
4. European stocks decline as investors await ECB policy meeting
5. Pensioners stage rally in central Athens
6. Moscovici in charge of budgets seen prompting EU deficits debate
Today
This Week
1. Greece may opt for unusual president to avoid snap polls, Venizelos says
2. Woman allegedly buried alive by accident in northern Greece
3. Salaries in Greece continue to slide, dipping 1.4 pct in Q2
4. Should you bet with Kissinger on where the world is heading?
5. Cypriots divided by 1974 war seek Shariah hub
6. The shocking thought of euro-dollar parity
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.