A decisive win against the neoliberal dictatorship
by system failure
The ERT logo came back yesterday in the Greek TV screens, exactly two years after the “black” during the coup of June 11, 2013. It is quite certain that Tsipras administration made the necessary preparations to re-open ERT on June 11 because they know that symbolism, particularly in such difficult periods, is very important.
Previous Samaras administration, being faithful to the neoliberal policies, tried to create unprecedented conditions towards the gradual downgrading of public broadcasters in Greece and Europe. They claimed that they wanted to "clean" ERT from corruption and state intervention. However, only a few believed them because Samaras administration actually represented the same party system which was hiring its people to all public institutions, giving them high salaries, in previous years. Moreover, Samaras created a supposedly independent public broadcaster (NERIT) to replace ERT, which soon became the mouthpiece of government positions.
The media landscape in Greece during those two years from the "black" in ERT, was transformed into a propaganda machine, reflecting lenders' and local oligarchs' (media owners among them) positions. However, the propaganda was not particularly successful, mainly because the cruel reality that millions of Greeks had to face, was totally opposite from the fixed "success stories" of the then government, and, because of the independent information through internet.
In the middle of a class war, the systemic media tried to distort the real picture and disorientate public opinion. They still try to do it, but they lose power continuously. The return of ERT will be another strike against them.
Certainly, ERT should not become a mouthpiece of government positions like NERIT. It should become a strong opponent of the neoliberal dictatorship which still has big power and represents elites' interests.
In such economic and class war conditions, public broadcaster should present the "other side" as a counterweight to the media propaganda of the oligarchs. This condition should not be received as promotion of government positions, as many want us to believe already. On the contrary, this will be a tool of objective information, defending the interests of the majority.
The restoration of ERT is a tactical win against the neoliberal dictatorship. This is a win against a basic element of the Greek experiment concerning the abolition of the public broadcasters. An abolition in the name of the supposed objective information by the private media which in reality only serves private interests.
The return of people in ERT who never gave up fight after the "black" on June 11 of 2013, shows that the government is determined to restore democratic legality, which was abolished two years ago. However, it is also a signal to the lenders that it will not tolerate mass layoffs practices. Tsipras' presence in ERT headquarters yesterday was of high meaning.
Thus, the return of ERT has a separate meaning in the war of negotiations between Greece and the lenders, because it sends multiple messages to multiple receivers.