OPINION

Trimming redundant state jobs

One can finally hear specific proposals concerning staff cuts in Greece’s oversized and wasteful public sector. In a report that has just been published by the Bank of Greece, governor Giorgos Provopoulos mentions the fact that Greece’s five state-owned television channels operate at a much higher cost and with far more employees than their private competitors. In the report, Provopoulos suggests that the five channels should merge into one or two. Furthermore, he adds, the money going the to state broadcasting company, ERT, through the payment of electricity bills should instead go toward repaying the country’s huge debt. The Bank of Greece governor also criticized the fact that super-indebted municipalities continue to run radio and television stations employing hundreds of reporters. Unpopular as the bank’s recommendations may be among journalists, they must be put into force. For one thing, these cuts will have no impact on the quality of information. What will be affected is the power of politicians and local leaders to appoint political cronies and build their public profile with the use of taxpayer money.