The prime minister’s decision to pull the plug on state broadcaster ERT was dramatic proof of his refusal to bow to any taboos in the effort to fix Greece. The good thing is that this showed we cannot go on as if it were business as usual. Despite the high jobless rate and the huge drop in incomes and living standards, the public sector and state bodies had failed to make a corresponding contribution to Greece’s great adjustment. Their time has come. The bad thing is that the country finds itself without a state broadcaster, in the thick of political uncertainty.
PM Antonis Samaras surprised everyone with his decisive act, and on Friday he again surprised everyone by suggesting a compromise that would allow ERT to function while its successor is brought up to speed. It is now up to every other player in this story – from the junior coalition partners to ERT’s former employees – to surprise us. They must show that they care more about a compromise than sticking to positions that will only jeopardize political stability and undermine efforts to reform the public sector and the economy.