ATHENS – The Managing Director at Greece’s state broadcaster ERT Vassilis Costopoulos and his Deputy Manager Giorgos Thalassinos quit their positions after the government wanted their resignations, with the men claiming there were sharp differences of opinion on how the station should be operated.
Lefteris Kretsos, the General Secretary for Information and Communication, had sought their resignations, with sources close to him who were not identified telling Kathimerini of the schism between the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA and the directors.
Thalassinos was said to have griped that union officials were interfering with ERT’s operation and that other top executives appointed by the government aren’t qualified and don’t even speak English in a country where that’s common, especially among the young and more educated Costopoulos told Parliament he was facing a “relentless war from within,” without giving any more details.
Prime Minister and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras brought back ERT into operation after it was closed by the previous New Democracy-led coalition and replaced with another broadcaster.
Critics have said SYRIZA has turned ERT into a patronage dumping ground of people who aren’t qualified and is trying to make it a propaganda outfit to cheerlead for the government which has fallen far behind New Democracy in polls with elections required to be held by Oct. 2019.