ATHENS – Hiring thousands of more workers in what critics said was an attempt to buy votes and reverse a free-fall in polls for reneging on anti-austerity promises, the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition will hire 206 more workers at the national broadcaster ERT, which it restored after taking power.
Ironically, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had said the station was being used by previous governments as a dumping ground for expensive patronage. Once he took office in 2015, he closed ERT’s replacement and brought back the former state TV station.
Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas said, “These hirings are not a waste of money, but will actually help us save money,” by using them to replace private broadcast crews he said are more expensive to use.
He didn’t indicate whether the new workers would come from the ranks of SYRIZA supporters as it’s typical in Greece for governments to hire their own kind after criticizing former governments for the same practice.
Pappas, who was replaced by Tsipras as Minister of State after a plan to issue only four private TV licenses was struck down by the courts, didn’t say who the new workers would be, what their responsibilities would be, or if they would be required to show up to work.