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GreekReporter.comGreeceHatzidakis Blames Manitakis For ERT Shutdown

Hatzidakis Blames Manitakis For ERT Shutdown

1945871_533_355In an interview withthe German newspaper Die Welt, the Minister for Development & Competitiveness Kostis Hatzidakis indirectly accused former Interior Minister Antonis Manitakis for the state public broadcaster ERT’s closing down, even though Manitakis had opposed it.
“Given the fact that the competent minister did not submit propositions, we had no choice but close down the broadcaster,” Hatzidakis noted about Manitakis, citing him as responsible for ERT’s closing down.
Manitakis had served in the previous coalition government as the choice of one of its former members, the Democratic Left (DIMAR) but resigned when the party left the adminstration in a huff over its closing.
Hatzidakis said that ERT’s closing was necessary to meet demands of international lenders to reduce the public workforce. It was closed on June 11 and all 2,656 workers. The government has ignored a June 17 ruling by the country’s highest court, the Council of State, to restore the signal until a replacement, NERIT, is set up with 1000-1200 former ERT workers.
“This closing down is of certain duration, so that its re-function will begin after restructuring, with less cost and less grand claims,” Hatzidakis said, ignoring claims by ERT workers that Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative party leader Antonis Samaras had stuffed it with high-paid no-show advisors and the daughter of one of his ministers was given a TV program and a 1 million euro ($1.3 million) budget during a crushing economic crisis when workers were having their pay cut.
He added: “It was the only possibility to fulfill the Troika’s requirements, which expects from us the abolition of 4,000 jobs in the public until the end of the year,” said Hatzidakis.
As far as privatizations are concerned, Hatzidakis pointed out that Greece will meet its engagements despite not getting a single bidder for its natural gas company, DEPA, which created a 1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) hole in the budget and the program being far off schedule. He didn’t say how that would be overcome beyond his statement that it would.
He was vague on whether Greece would try to force losses on public investors the same way it did on private investors, which resulted in the country being locked out of the markets and dependent on foreign aid to survive.

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