Despite vehement denials from both the Troika ad the EU in Brussels about any involvement in the loopy Samaras decision to close down Greek State broadcaster ERT, evidence is coming to light that calls such claims into question.
According to the website publicserviceeurope.com, officials from the European Commission threatened to take “action” against the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation – or ERT – for failing to broadcast pro-European news just days before it was taken off the air by a dubious emergency Greek decree.
The ‘Troika’ claimed last week that it had “not sought the closure of ERT” – despite Greece being under constant pressure to lay off government employees. But the EC is now admitting to a dispute with ERT over the pro-EU Pravdaesque Euronews, which ERT management forced off air in December 2012.
It seems that ERT staff were well aware of the slavishly pro-Brussels line consistently adopted by Euronews, but the Greek Broadcasting Council ruled in February that Euronews had the right to broadcast, and ordered that the signal be restored. The decision was never implemented, and so there are allegations that EU officials used their position within the Troika to punish ERT for being off-message.
The European Commission has handed out millions of euros in grants aid to expand its pet news station. Such funding, opponents claim, ensures that coverage remains pro-EU. Observing what the station puts out, it is hard to avoid that conclusion.
As a whole, however, what this story tends to suggest is that the ferocity of EU denial about something is almost 100% correlated to the truth. Plus ca change, as we say here in France. Winston Smith, eat your heart out.