The government of the memorandum is falling apart, trapped in the consequences of its own austerity policies. Its panic became apparent when the Prime Minister circumvented the parliament and then bypassed even the cabinet. Unconstitutionally, the signature of one and only minister shut the public broadcaster, paving the way for this same method to be used for every public structure, from schools and universities to hospitals and welfare providers.
The “success story” of Grecovery, fed by the government to the people by the pro establishment media exists only in its imagination.
– The privatisations, thankfully, are stumbling even under their own terms, despite the fact that the minister responsible for them, Giorgos Manitakis, stated that the public sector will keep only whatever the private sector does not want.
– The legendary 17 million tourists coming this summer and saving the economy, as advertised by the mainstream media, simply do not exist, despite the fairy tales spun by talkative ministers!
– Unemployment climbs to 30%, whereas it has already passed the 60% mark for the young.
– The recession is deepening, with public debt at 176% of GDP, whereas is 2009, before the troika saved Greece it was under 130%.
– The deficit is swelling, reaching 10%: the budget simply DOES NOT ADD UP!
In this atmosphere, Samaras chose a leap into the void, dragging us all with him. Choosing polarisation, he derails democracy. He is now under fire from his own partners in the government and even the troika, despite being fully subservient to their orders.
Following the unconstitutional “mobility plan”, which sent packing 2,000 people working in the public broadcaster, a further 45,000 redundancies – renamed ‘passing in the reserve’ – are being prepared for the public sector. The government, hoping that the shock will temporarily freeze society’s reflexes, digs the knife in even deeper. From one day to the other, without consultation or warning, they fired thousands of workers, sending to everybody the signal that their jobs are expendable. Even the colonels’ junta had refrained from such tactics.
The alleged consolidation of ERT is a bad joke of the far right government of Samaras. It is a huge gift to media oligarchs and a huge blow to the public’s right to information and culture. The government shut down in unconstitutional manner the only legal broadcaster, since all private broadcasters operate for more than twenty years now without the prescribed licenses and even without paying to the state advertisement taxes. These illegal private TV stations are allowed to operate in this way, to the detriment of taxpayers and culture. They are even supported in perpetuating this regime through colossal loans from Greek banks, thus transferring the burden onto the taxpayers who have already bailed out these same banks.
However, just as workers are not responsible for the public debt, neither the workers at ERT are responsible for the waste and squandering of public money. Those responsible are precisely the ones who have over the past years operated the system of patronage.
The Greek Debt Audit Campaign condemns the closure of the public broadcaster. We stand by the side of its employees made redundant, and we demand the immediate reopening of ERT under social control from the people.
The struggle for a free public broadcaster, just like the struggle against debt repayments, is a struggle for democracy and freedom.