A Citizen’s Guide to Greece 2015


June 14, 2013

ERT: Burning down the house

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Written by: KK

By Krysta Kalachani

Maria Houkli has a point in her editorial on the closure of ERT in glimatikotika.gr Friday morning. But there can also be strong criticism to what she says.

In my view the way that the government decided to close down ERT sends messages drawn from other political systems: the public or state TV must be operative. No matter how badly the job gets done, there might come a time when the job is done better (if anyone cares, of course, to change the way it operates). Moreover, the government that is so eager to change this part of dysfunctional and corrupt state apparatus should better look at the corruption among its members and the political favors they still make within other institutions as well, the money they throw around in the unclear ways they do it, the people they still appoint to public sector jobs, even in the — choose your adjective — situation that we are in Greece now… But when is the last time you remember a government doing things the right way, anywhere?

Houkli recommends that the government could “sanitize” ERT by having it operate in parallel with the new ERT (or whatever the name they want to give it). She is right about that, but bear in mind still that,

1. Houkli worked there for some time and I think her salary was quite high, so I don’t know how appropriate her comments are, and to what extent; and

2. it is known that ERT’s senior administrative staff were highly paid along with some journalists and TV presenters; this is the part that of course had to change. I don’t see her mentioning this.

Anyway, the discussion can go a long way. I have been following ERT’s broadcasting on line a bit, and what I see is that a lot of people again found “an excuse” to show their total disappointment and go out on the streets. Some even view the ERT affair as the new “Politexneio.” This is something that remains to be seen.

However, as in all things in Greece, having in mind Ms Houkli’s reaction, one must not have what we call “δυο μέτρα και δύο σταθμά”.. (double standard), although this seems to be the norm in Greece and not her exclusive characteristic.

It seems that in this country what we think of others we don’t apply it to ourselves and vice versa. We also tend to think that whatever does not affect is not worth a care, let others deal with it… The problem is that when my neighbor’s house is one fire, my house is next. Right? And it seems that a whole lot of “houses” have been burning down for some years now in the country.


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