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A cellist’s appeal from Greece’s shut-down TV centre

Dear Mr. Lebrecht,
As a solo cellist of the National Opera of Greece, I feel that all the world should know what is happening. I just copy the Facebook post of the Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra:

WE NO LONGER EXIST !
WE ARE NOT ORCHESTRA ANYMORE !
WE ARE JUST NUMBERS FOR THEM !
GREEK RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA DOES NOT EXIST, THE GOVERMENT SHUTTING DOWN THE NATIONAL RADIO & TELEVISION !

THIS IS DICTATORSHIP, NOT DEMOCRACY !!!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

I would like to ask you to publish it in Slipped Disc or your status in Facebook, as well as publishing the petition link of Avaaz.com to stop the shutdown of Public Television in Greece (the radio symphony orchestra and choir is part of it)

Thank you in advance.
Yours sincerely,
Marina Kolovou

 

greece

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Comments

  1. Alexandros Rigas says:

    Greek television is shutdown for the past decade having been the fully dependent speaker of each governement and the employer of their voters, in exchange of high salaries and low quality output consuming the Greek citizens taxes without any reservation and control.

  2. “THIS IS DICTATORSHIP, NOT DEMOCRACY !”. No it’s not, it’s about cutting costs. Why are you cutting costs? Because you printed money behind our backs, because you borrowed when you knew you couldn’t pay back, and now you need to face the consequences like everyone else. The rest of Europe is tired of paying for your country’s mistakes.
    It’s sad that your orchestra no longer exists, and I find it sad that my insanely high taxes support your corrupt country.

    • This message has – no surprise – a .de email address

      • I came here via Michael Nymans’s FB page and of course as an artist understand that culture, whats that word? revolves? the surprise was you dismissing someones opinion because they had a german email address – don’t be nationalistic – trust your intelligence instead – bankers as gamblers caused all this and we are all paying – yet the banking sector is not threatened – I prefer to be an artist [here in the UK (Norman)]

        • The opinion was aggressive and adversarial. Given the recent course of European relations, its point of origin was relevant information. People are suffering in Greece and Cyprus, many for no fault of their own. They do not deserve to be hectored like this.

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            I agree it’s not every single person’s fault, but many of them did know that their governments are massively corrupt and inefficient and many of them were happy to profit from that as long as they thought someone else would pay the bill.
            So are you saying that everyone with a .de email address should just shut up and continue to pay more and more taxes, retire at a later age, watch their own cultural landscape slashed (e.g. the orchestra in Baden-Baden/Freiburg), and say thank you for seeing the people they have to bail out riot in the streets and call them Nazis?

        • Norman’s comment is quite justified. There is a litany of anti-Greek press in Germany that is excessively ethnocentric and nationalistic. Given the historical context, it is only natural this awakens concern. By creating a wide network of open markets, the EU provides enormous economic benefits to Germany. The country’s resentment when called upon to help the stabilize the union is thus ironic.

          • Fabio Fabrici says:

            Pleas give us some citations for anti-Greek press in Germany, that is “excessively ethnocentric and nationalistic”. I have not experienced anything like it and wonder what would make a supposedly informed person make such a crude statement.
            Also please quotations for the alleged “resentment” to help stabilize the EU, when in fact the German liabilities in the stabilization amount up to about 500 billion €, much more than any other EU member wants to shoulder?
            And the open markets are to the benefit of anyone who is able to produce something that others want…

          • Fabio Fabrici says:

            sorry but that doesn’t count. That’s a secondary “source, and a questionable one, The Guardian.
            Give us primary sources that are “excessively ethnocentric and nationalistic”.

            None of the articles quoted in the Guardian emphasizes on issues of ethnicity or nationality. Why are you playing this dirty game?

          • Fabio Fabrici says:

            one exception though is the German tabloid “Bild”. But they always play dirty like most tabloids in the world. And they are not “the press”.

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            I could score a cheap point here and say maybe “Bild” is the only German paper William can read – after all, he never misses a chance to score cheap anti-German points – but that would be mean so I won’t say that.

            Rather, let’s look at what Bild, as quoted in the article actually said there:

            “Leading the field was the tabloid Bild, hammering home the alarming message that: “The Greeks want even more of our billions!” The headline is crowned by the ominous figure: “25,000,000,000 euro!”, the proportion of the bailout package Germany can expect to pay.”

            Simplistic and somewhat populist, yes, but where is the “excessively ethnocentric and nationalistic” here? In the word “our”?
            “The Greeks want even more of our biliions” – well, yes they do, don’t they? And what’s wrong with
            “25,000,000,000 euro!”? That’s how many zeros 25 billion have.

            Let’s take a look at the headlines in the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten:

            “Fear around Euro crisis is growing”
            Yes, that’s really inflammatory.

            “After Greece and Spain, Portugal is downgraded, too”
            Meaning the credit rating. That obviously is an excessively ethnocentric thing to say for a German newspaper. How dare they.

            “Germany fulfills Euro Zone obligations”
            Now it’s getting really nationalistic!

            “Greece needs more money than previously expected”
            Well, that is a terrible, terrible thing to say. That’s really whipping up the “anti-Greek fury”!!!

            PS
            The “Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten” is a tiny local newspaper. They sell about 8000 copies. Very representative of “the German press”.

          • Here is an example of the anti-Greek polemic in the German press — the cover photo for Focus Magazine. Focus is one of Germany’s major news magazines — equivalent to what Time or Newsweek once were. See:

            http://p4.focus.de/img/gen/Z/r/HBZrzUeA_Pxgen_r_Ax480.jpg?http://p4.focus.de/img/gen/Z/r/HBZrzUeA_Pxgen_r_Ax480.jpg?http://p4.focus.de/img/gen/Z/r/HBZrzUeA_Pxgen_r_Ax480.jpg

            As always, forgive me if I do not respond to “Mr. Schaefer’s” crudely abusive posts. People should not think that his views and expressions represent the majority of German people. Most are far more fair and sensible, including several who participate here.

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            That’s awesome!!! I don’t read Focus so I totally missed that. I immediately sent that on to my Greek ex-girlfriend. She thought it was hilarious, too! Who says Germans don’t have a sense of humor!?!
            Thanks for sharing that!

            I read the article in the meantime. The article – and that cover picture – are somewhat polemic indeed, but it isn’t generally “anti-Greek” at all. It’s main theme is that the Greek government cooked the books before and after they joined the Euro zone. There is no general “anti-Greek” sentiment there.

            What’s not so funny is that several lawsuits were filed – and accepted by the Greek court – against key personnel of Focus magazine for “defamation of the Greek people and Greek symbols of state” in Athens which suggests there is an issue going on there with freedom of speech and the press. And while they were at it, they also filed a lawsuit against a German author who had nothing to do with that cover and the article connected to it – in fact, he is a travel journalist who has spent the better part of the last three decades writing travel pieces about Greece and promoting travel to the country – he just happened to publish one of his pieces on Focus’ web page around the same time that cover picture came out.
            All those law suits were eventually dismissed but the story is still indicative of how unprepared many people in Greece are to actually address the massive problems they are facing.

            And no matter what one may think about that cover picture and how funny it is or isn’t, it’s still totally harmless compared to the anti-German imagery that seems to have become commonplace and widely accepted in Greece, magazine covers and posters of Merkel in Nazi uniform and similar stuff.
            Funny our friend William doesn’t have a problem with *that*…

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            william osborne says:
            June 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm

            “As always, forgive me if I do not respond to “Mr. Schaefer’s” crudely abusive posts. People should not think that his views and expressions represent the majority of German people. Most are far more fair and sensible”

            Well – not according to you! You never miss an opportunity to play to the gallery and present Germans and Austrians in the worst possible light, to call them (and I quote) “excessively ethnocentric and nationalistic” and defame any of our cultural institutions as (and I quote) “sexist, sexist, sexist”.

            Nothing I said in this thread was “crudely abusive”. I simply translated and commented on the completely harmless headlines of a tiny local newspaper that you cited as an example of the (and I quote) “excessively ethnocentric and nationalistic” tone of German newspapers when it comes to the Greek debt crisis.
            In other words, I simply called you on your BS. But (and I quote again) “as always”, you excuse yourself from replying to anything and anybody that exposes just how distorted and (I quote again) “crudely abusive” your portrayal of what the majority of German people really think is.

            PS you still haven’t gotten my name right. It’s not that difficult. Maybe I was right about the Bild thing after all…

          • Fabio Fabrici says:

            “German Press Whips Up Anti-Greece Fury” ?

            could it be you got it backward? That Focus cover is mild. Reality is not on your side, well, we know already it’s not on your side most of the time.

            Compare to these pictures, where we see more of

            “Foreign Press Whips Up Anti-German Fury”

            http://d1.stern.de/bilder/stern_5/kultur/2012/KW25/merkel_fitwidth_420.jpg

            http://www.tagesspiegel.de/images/heprodimagesfotos82420120823kriech-jpg/7041718/2-format43.JPG

            http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LRkScQGxnzE/Tp3zu-dMALI/AAAAAAAAA8s/bTmsL11nogc/s1600/2%252Ch%253D343.bild.jpg

            http://p4.focus.de/img/gen/m/I/HBmIMX2D_Pxgen_r_Ax541.jpg

            http://www.wiwo.de/images/quarto-reich/6958392/10-format23.jpg

      • Fabio Fabrici says:

        Why is it no surprise to you that that message originated in Germany? Because it speaks the (inconvenient, sure) truth?

        • Fabio Fabrici says:

          Maybe you should force a sticker on all posts from Germany that says “German”…

        • Theodore McGuiver says:

          I remember allowing myself a hollow belly laugh when it was originally announced that Italy and Greece had officially fulfilled all criteria for immediate entry into the Euro. It was clear to me from that moment on that this European vanity project was condemned to fail.

      • well my e -mail will have a .ro adress. we in Romania dont want to pay for you greeks. you need to cut costs, you need to cut useless goverment jobs. your orchestra is the victim of an corrupt political class, You should ask yourself how could people in greece vote for people that only borrowd moneyu i order to solve problems, insetead of really doing something. now a public televizion isnt a great thing for a Democracy. this is a lie. if you want a free press , u can find that in the private sector , not in the public one, where goverment lies are broadcasted load and clear/

    • Dear Hyzor,
      I am very sorry for the high taxes you have to pay, because I know how it is. The only difference is that the average salary in Greece is 950€ p.m. in opposition with Germany that it’s 2100€ p.m. For the taxes you “have” to pay and you are tired of for the Greek loan… you should remember or learn about the 1 trillion € that Germany owns to Greece for the Nazi’s loan that “forgot” to pay back, as you did, and never gave a cent! Italy did. Germany never. Please, check your sources; Things are not as -some times- they look like.

      • Michael Schaffer says:

        Indeed they are not. That 1 trillion € figure, for instance, is wildly, wildly optimistic by any standard. Plus, what Greeks often forget, or maybe simply don’t know, is that a large part of the damage done by Germany in WWII was addressed by the US in the Marshall Plan. So the US picked up a large chunk – though not all of it – of the post-war German debt to Greece. Unfortunately, while Germany made very good use of its own MP money, Greece squandered most of it. Which is one of the reasons you have these income disparities you cited. Not because of the evil Germans. Who have also brought a lot of money into Greece in recent decades through tourism.
        But Germans today still remember that the country received massive help back then and that is why many are also willing to help out Greece and other countries now. But these countries also have to make efforts to get their act together. These outbursts of primitive nationalist outrage do not make it look like many realize what the true, internal and current sources of these economic problems are. It unfortunately makes it look like many Greeks are still stuck in some very outdated ways of thinking. And it diminishes the willingness of people in Germany and other places which have more money to help. Still, most people want to help because they see the historic and moral obligations, but there is a limit to just how much cash they are willing to fork over and pour into a bottomless hole if all they get in return is wild insults and people babbling about things that happened before most of the current German – and Greek – taxpayers were even born.

        • Theodore McGuiver says:

          Bravo. Well said.

        • Bravo! Greece is like a wastfull, jobless man, instead of learning a trade, beeing humble, working hard, spending less, he starts spending more, borouing even more, and how much time passes til nobody want to give you money, that is never going to be paid back. ofc then this man accuses others of beeing selfish… this is Greece, AKA the country where people belive that everybody is blame, because nobody wants to give them loans…

      • I suggest you research more carefully. the average wage, especially for young people under 35 is around 485 euros, if they’re lucky and we aren’t talking about an 8 hour shiftr, either.
        As for the rest of your comments, I’ve heard the rhetoric soooo many times, i don’t even bother replying any more.
        fyou should do some soul searching about the outstanding ww2 loan Greece was forced to give Germany. you know what they say bout people who live in glass houses!!!

        • Michael Schaffer says:

          You should do a little research, too. As I pointed out above, a large part of the obligations Germany had towards Greece after WWII was taken over by the US in the form of the Marshall Plan (thanks, George!). There are some unsettled debts there and that should be looked into and finally settled, but it’s not nearly as much as Greece needs and it is not the reason for the big mess the country is in. All that damage is entirely self-inflicted.

          You should stop whining and take a look at the country most devastated by Germany in WWII: Poland. On top of that, they also had half a century of Soviet oppression and communist mismanagement. I was there before the wall came down, it was one of the saddest and most hopeless places I have ever been to.
          But now, just a little more than two decades after the fall of communism, they are doing fairly well. They have their problems, too, of course, like any society and they are not untouched by the world wide economic crisis either, but overall, they are doing fairly well, they are working hard and they have made amazing progress in rebuilding their country. And it looks like it’s not all just on borrowed money either.

          That’s the saddest thing about the whole Greek situation: where did all that borrowed money go? Did you put it into developing your infrastructure, your economy, your education? Or did it all go towards building up the highest concentration of Porsches in Europe? Of course, you can blame the Germans for that, too – if they didn’t make these hot cars, the Greeks wouldn’t have to borrow so much money to buy them.

    • c. kolovos says:

      Dear, if you are German, stop please this very bad and German fascistic propaganda and give us our money back, from what you stole in the 2nd world war and from the loan you obliged us to take the same period. Give us back the culture that Greece offered 2.000 years ago and all of you were in the trees. Read the history and see how many Greek villages you burned at all in the 2nd world war, see how many hundred of thousands people you killed and how many thousands women you raped. We don’t want any more to work for your capitalistic system and for surviving the Banks. We didn’t stole the money, the people didn’t stole the money. The government stole and the Banks. We don’t want anymore German occupation in our backs and in our country. Stay in your home and be the boss in your home, not in my home. I wish you not to become in our situation, but if you don’t respect our culture and our history, then give us back all the Greek words you have in your language, the philosophy we gave to you and all the rest. The music, the poetry, the… the… the… According the 2 orchestras and the choir from the Greek Radio and TV, I can tell you that they are 3 very good ensembles that gave historical concerts in the last 75 years, with very good musicians and with salaries that all of you the “cultural and clever mind” Germans, cannot live at all. So, little money they take or even better they took, without stability on their jobs, without supporting from the Government etc. And why? Because all of you, you don’t want the people to be well educated or the artists to be in the first row of the revolution, because then will come all the “popolo” together to take the power in our hands and to have finally a proletariato, the power in the people”s hands, that means free education for everybody, free houses, free electricity, free water, free everything with us as protagonists.

      • Fabio Fabrici says:

        Oh my, where to start with this…

        Did you know that the median wealth is higher in Greece than in Germany? Surprising, isn’t it? Putting the blame on the Germans is easy. Collecting taxes and managing your economy in a sustainable way is apparently too hard for the Greek. It’s always some damn foreigners who are to blame. Life is easy.

        • Fabio Fabrici says:
        • Timon Wapenaar says:

          Actually, Germany has one of the most unequal economies in Europe. The wealth gap is far larger than you’d expect, and this is because the enormous gains made by German business simply haven’t been passed on to the average German: wages have been kept low to keep the exports ticking over, and the banks have been coddled.

          The “median wealth” canard has been debunked, originally here:

          http://www.voxeu.org/article/are-germans-really-poorer-spaniards-italians-and-greeks

          But also in a more easily digested form, courtesy of Forbes magazine:

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/04/15/seriously-cyprus-is-not-richer-than-germany/

          So it seems the German economic model is not as sustainable as all that. Particularly after killing the capacity for the periphery to absorb exports. As for taxes, you probably haven’t read about the Deutsche Bank tax evasion scandal, then?

          The people who caused this mess are both Greek, and German, I’m afraid. That’s how corruption works: always two greasy palms.

          • Fabio Fabrici says:

            I don’t think it has been “debunked”. The average middle class tax payer – those who pay for the Euro debacle – in Germany is represented correctly by the median statistics.
            “The people who caused this mess” are internationally operating banksters first of all, together with corrupt politicians everywhere. All the while the commoners in different nations are getting stirred up in old nationalistic resentments and propaganda battles. It’s so easy to distract attention away from the real culprits.

            Divide et Impera! hahahaha, banksters laughing all the way to the bank about the gullible public.

          • Timon Wapenaar says:

            @ Fabio. At least we agree re the international oligarchy and the way in which the both Herr Schmidt and Mr. Papodopolous have been led down the garden path. The way in which emotions have been stirred up makes the quality of data used in an argument of crucial importance. Merely saying “they are represented correctly by the median statistics” is not sufficient. Are we still talking about “household wealth”? What is your definition of “household wealth”? I don’t mean to be pedantic, but with so much hot air about, cool heads and a clinical appraisal are what is called for.

          • well this why a greek could not become the chef of state in Germany,. im sorry dude but the greek politicians come from the greek people, that si the ideea you know. politicians are generaly corrupt, but if ordinary people think that is ok to vote the guy that offers more money for your useless public job, its clarley that Greece isnt an european country anymore, and has the culture of an subsaharian republic. Dixit.
            German wages are low because labour value is low. labour is a comodity like paper, or furniture, or TV sets. if its worth less you wuould get less for your labour. the maket price of labour in ghana make it posibla for a medic to have a lower income then a food stamp dependent person in USA. Second corporatism inst Capitalism,. in order to have a higher salies you need more bussines, or more capitalist that need more labour for the growing nommebr of bussines.

      • same on you, for balming others !!! so lets say that Germany would give you 100 bilion euro, how much time will pass till you need another 100 more? are you deranged? stop voting wastfull politicians, start spending less, and working more, that is wht the german did after the world war II. money isnt the proble, is the way you think. sometimes when people in greece present their issues, you have the impresion of talking to perssons form a tribal culture, where thy are eating everything now, never thinking for the future. germans have higher salaries because work there is more valuable, then in Greece , wher e the economy is weaker. lol in other words you are consuming more then you are producing, and you have the nerve to demand others to finance your overinflated salaries?

    • Timon Wapenaar says:

      @Hyzor Please check your facts. Employees at ERT account for under 1% of the state sector, and their overheads are even less than that. As far as stupid borrowing goes, please remember that there is a counterparty for every loan. Why is it we can call Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “reckless lenders” for making loans to people who could never possibly pay them back? But when American toxic mortgages bring down a country like Iceland, and when the associated fiscal contagion starts lapping at the foundations of large central European lenders, like Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale, for some reason we blame the “lazy Greeks” or the “incompetent Spaniards”. Who would you rather knew more about the chances of a loan being repaid: the banks or the customer? I would most certainly hope it would be the former. Your taxes may be high, but, if you check your numbers, you will find that a large chunk (in the order of 40%) of the 2012 Greek bailout went straight through Greece and back to European banks and the ECB. Not to mention the state enterprises which have been carved up and handed to creditors. In essence, the German government has used German tax money to bail out German banks who have been engaged in highly questionable practices. We blame the Greeks, but it’s Deutsche Bank that’s leveraged 100:1.

      I’ve written before about German corruption in the arms industry (specifically related to Greece).

  3. Peter Barch says:

    True, Hyzors comment was (unnecessarly) agressive and adversarial, same as Marina’s outcry (which is more understandable given the frustration and fearshe must feel), but wouldn’t you agree, that the fact, that you have had to disclose the estimated nationality of Hyzo, may be, because you are – no surpise – British?

  4. PK Miller says:

    Norman is absolutely right: it’s not the fault of the people of Greece, their TV/Radio stations or the arts organizations that the country is growing broke. The fault lies with their elected officials who, apparently, borrowed and spent money like there was no tomorrow. Surprise–tomorrow came. Granted we play that game in the US as well. I still remember when the then Governor of NY State threatened to cut off the funding of WAMC Northeast Public Radio. Their very politically savvy CEO went public and the Governor quickly reversed course and the station got MORE money from its listeners. But government, as in WAMC’s case, always finds convenient scapegoats. And who better to blame but the artists. It’s sad–frightening even–to see a sovereign nation go down the financial toilet. Blaming the arts fools no one. The government, collectively has its own rapaciousness to blame. As we are seeing in a local public high school, the arts are ALWAYS the first to be cut. We have met the enemy and they is, indeed, us! (Walt Kelly’s Pogo was neither politically or grammatically correct!)

    • Fabio Fabrici says:

      Everybody has the elected officials he deserves. (exceptions apply, but rarely)

  5. Des isch fürs …Genie namens Hyzor:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/profiting-from-pain-europe-s-crisis-is-germany-s-blessing-a-808248.html

    Bravo Marina, let’s get the word out and let’s make people aware of what’s really going on with Greece – there’s so many people who never question all the garbage thrown at them by politicians and media, because they live in a warm and cozy comfort zone.

  6. robcat2075 says:

    While it may be that corruption in the Greek government caused (some? all? a fraction of?) this problem it sure doesn’t appear that the corrupt individuals are the ones getting punished. Is anyone going to jail for the corruption?

  7. Armando says:

    I’m sorry. But that article in Der Spiegel is a complete load of bullshit.

    “Its neighbors may be suffering, but the euro crisis has created conditions that actually benefit the German economy. Not only is the government enjoying the windfall of negative interest rates on bonds, but unemployment is down and exports are booming.”

    The reason why the German economy is faring better now than its eurozone partners is, in part, because of the reforms it pushed through a few years back under Gerhard Schroeder’s Agenda 2010, precisely those painful reforms which other eurozone countries are now being asked to implement.

    Back then, when other countries were flush and giddy with cheap money from their decision to join the euro, Germany was seen as the sick man of Europe, suffering from low or zero growth and high unemployment.
    It got its labour market and economy in order (well, comparatively speaking anyway — millions of people are still suffering from those labour market reforms today).

    And it has brought down its deficit.
    THAT is why it is seen as a safe haven nowadays by investors and causing interest rates in Germany to become negative.

    Now far be it from me to hold Germany up as some sort of paragon of virtue (it isn’t), but might it not be reasonable to suggest that had other countries tried to get their economies in order, too, and not spent well over their means for years, they wouldn’t be hurting now, or at least not so much.
    And it’s the politicians I’m talking about here. Not the person on the street.

    I’m no politician and I don’t have any solutions to help alleviate the deep pain and distress that Greeks are currently suffering.
    In times like these, it’s always easy to try and find somebody else to blame.

    But it’s ludicrious and a complete cop-out simply to blame it all on “the Germans”.

    Der Spiegel article is a nasty, puerile piece of so-called “journalism” that plays on such anti-German prejudices, but only tells half the story because it refuses to look at WHY the German economy is doing better than other economies.

  8. Gerhard says:

    I feel very sorry for our fellow musicians in this Greek orchestra. And I’m very saddened about the human meanness displayed by more than one person in the course of this discussion.
    Gerhard (with a .de-address, to save Norman the trouble)

  9. To all the German readers of this discussion (despite my .com-address, I’m German, too): Read here that our public radio and TV are a lot more expensive than the Greek ones have been: http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/so-teuer-sind-ard-und-zdf-im-vergleich-zu-griechenlands-rundfunk-a-905375.html

    • Alexandros says:

      Simon, yes. However, please, the output of the German public TV and Radio cannot be compared to the Greece’s one. Also acc. to ARTE Greece has the lowest watching rate of public TV in Europe (13%). I happen to watch both intensively, being a Greek and receiving via Satellite all these German stations since 2004.

      -German public TV has a minimal amount of not at all commercials. Greek TV is full of them.

      -German public TV broadcast the most recent and expensive productions (concerts, opera, documentaries), most often their OWN productions. Greek TV broadcast the New Year’s Cocnert from Vienna and some old and tired opera productions from VHS tapes
      .
      -German Radio (more than 10 clasical music channels) can keep me company every evening with live concerts from all over Germany and Europe. Greek Radio 3 (To Trito), while as member of the EBU receives most of these same concerts, rarely broadcast them due to unwillingness of their employees to do it or due to lack of any personnel todo it at 9pm. We are bombared with all over the same programs recorded on tape years ago. Exceptions of course apply but there is no comparison at all.

      All I want to say, is that it is inherent to the Public Organizations not to manage their budget like private ones. And corruption is there. HOWEVER, my main objection is that despite all this they should do the job PROPERLY and produce quality. This is not the case in Greece (exceptions exist of course).
      I am the first to defend my Country but fairness must prevail. Restructure is urgently needed and required.
      I do not need to talk about the State Orchestra were nobody can be fired because like all 750.000 public employees they are protected by LAW. Poor S. Commissiona just weeks before he died in the USA, he was in Athens conducting this orchestra and during the rehearsals he went crazy with the laziness and indifference of some members urging them to honor their privilege to play in this orchestra once conducted by Mitropoulos, Walter, Horenstein etc. Maestro Militiadis Karydis (Tonkuenstler Austria director) suffered a stroke and died following an incident of a trombone player who insulted him. These are facts. Such institutions cannot advance without new minds and RESTRUCTURE.

      Of course this does not mean that some Countries and a part of their Citizens should profit form the deplorable status of my Country for any political, economic or other reason. Politicians (here and abroad) are the root cause, Banks are the root cause, some powerful citizens are the root cause; however the simple citizen must be protected and be offered something to hope.

      €1.000.000,– people lost their jobs since the beginning of the crisis in 2009 and nobody cared. 2500 ERT employees (who will get all legal compensation – roughly €80.000,– per person in average, and a lot out of them will be recruted in the new TV Group ) are fired and the government is in danger. Crazy!

      Nationalists, please refrain from commenting. Nobody was born a nazi and of course in this respect, nations very often do NOT have the politicians they deserve.

  10. It is still a tragedy when yet another orchestra gets the chop!

  11. Why these silly comparisons between the most bankrupt country in Europe with it’s richest member? Greece is getting what it deserves, enough sugarcoating!

    • If you’re living in Britain, your economy is not in great shape either. And if you believe the ball is going to miss your little cornee of the world, the dream on. Luckily, [redacted: abuse], i will not be making the same types of comments, because some of the nicest people I know are Brits.

  12. Stefanos Nasos says:

    I thought this blog was about arts… nope… find the guilty and hang him. Thank you for beign so sure about the truth!

    But to let you know some facts: the decision to shut down the state broadcaster was taken -without approval from the parliament!!!- on Tuesday afternoon. Few hours later the signal was lost: mine -downtown Athens, shortly after 11pm. We have a 3-party government, two of the parties do not agree with the decision.
    Results: many Greek Islands right now, do not see any Greek TV channel: just foreign broadcasters. The same goes for Northen Greece’s borders. Right now, Greece is the only European country without public broadcaster. EBU appealed to the Greek government (Google EBU appeals to Greek, results to a PDF).

    Greek National TV and Radio was founded 1938. When Germans invaded the country during WWII, they did not shut it down. When the junta took over the country 1967, they did not shut it down. A democratic elected government did it in 2013…

    Now keep talking about the economic crisis, sorry for the intermission!

    • Timon Wapenaar says:

      How about the rumour that this is really just New Democracy striking at a PASOK support base (apparently, ERT has been stuffed with PASOKians)? It’s true: while we argue about whose fault it is, the station has been surrounded by MAT (anti-terrorist) police.

  13. You know I’m sick of reading all these knowitalls’ comments about us Greks. All they’re doing isparroting what they’ve read which was written by some other knowitall and most if not all of them have either never been here or at best have come here as tourists. Believe it or not there are Greeks who can actually tie their shoelaces without help!
    The protest against the closure of ERT has to do with freedom of speech. It’s to do with gagging the press.
    Nothing is ever black or white. There are other colours on the spectrum!

  14. Alexandros says:

    “The European Union and the impending Euro are one big pain. Except for the industry and the banks.”

    Carlos Kleiber, 24 V 1998

    From Charles Barber book “Corresponding with Carlos”, 2011,

    Prophetic no less!

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