Mini furor erupts after ruling party Parliamentary group spokesman refers to public TV as ‘tragic’

6 March 2017
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The latest mini political tempest over the weekend, amid resumed negotiations with creditors, came when ruling SYRIZA party’s Parliamentary spokesman said the image portrayed by the state-run television (ERT) is “tragic and Third World-like”.

The eyebrow-raising comment by former minister Nikos Xydakis sparked a “tit-for-tat” exchange between the latter, main opposition New Democracy and even the state-appointed management of the public broadcaster.

Xydakis, a former newspaper editor and columnist at a mainstream Athens daily before entering radical left politics with SYRIZA, made the comment during his address at the week-long economic forum in Delphi.

In a later press release, ERT President Dionysis Tsaknis, who is better known in Greece as a composer, said that if what Xydakis said was true, then he (Xydakis) has responsibility as well, given that he served as an alternate culture minister with jurisdiction over ERT over the past two years.
Tsaknis signed his announced as “president of a Third World entity”.

The SYRIZA MP did not respond to the ERT reaction specifically, but did lash out at the opposition statement that the government views public television with a “regime-like perception”.

In a later clarification, Xydakis on Monday said his criticism of the low ratings television broadcaster was taken out of context.

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