Greece’s national TV station, Nerit, began broadcasting just hours before the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. Following the surprise closure of Greece’s previous state broadcster ERT, the EBU made a rare exception and allowed the upstart Nerit to participate, despite the fact the network did not have sufficient time to prove that it was committed to the values of openness, transparency and independence—requirements for all EBU member networks.

Some days ago, the European Broadcasting Union approached the Greek government and explicitly asked how independent the broadcaster is. This occurred after Parliament passed an amendment on August 5 that allows the government to elect Nerit’s members to the supervisory board. In other words: The broadcaster is ruled by the government.

The EBU expressed its “surprise and deep disappointment” as well as their concerns about the political independence of the TV channel. “The rules of appointment have been changed virtually overnight, without proper debate, and without considering best practice in Europe, which is a pity,” said the EBU’s Director General Ingrid Deltenre. “The original appointment procedure in last year’s law was unique and looked overly complex and time-consuming. But unfortunately the new procedure lacks the legal safeguards to ensure the independence and pluralism of the supervisory council.”

As always, this has caused controversy in the Greek Parliament. Nerit has already confirmed its participation at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest. If Nerit misbehaves, will the EBU react? Could Greece be forced out? We hope not. Greece is a pillar of Eurovision, and we want them in the contest. So come on, Nerit. Honour the birthplace of democracy and keep it open, keep it transparent, and keep yourself in the EBU!

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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Bledar Leka
Bledar Leka
6 years ago

I agree with @emmaeurovisionisfun, Greece, along with Turkey, Ukraine and Malta, is the ray of sunshine in the contest! Greece do well because they send upbeat songs which make everyone dance. Greece and Cyprus only give each other 12 because Greece and Cyprus share a music industry, so it’s highly likely that a song that tops the charts in Cyprus will also do the same in Greece, and that’s why many Greek entrants are from Cyprus and vice versa. My home country always gives Greece 12 because Greek singers are famous in the Balkans. And also @Charles, it just happens… Read more »

emmaeurovisionfun
emmaeurovisionfun
6 years ago

Sorry the mistake with the they had the word circus inside them!

emmaeurovisionfun
emmaeurovisionfun
6 years ago

@MTD
First of all you are very rude (I cannot read seriously the comment of an unkind person)
Secondly,the years that you have mentioned are only in your opinion a <> (because 2004-Greece came third ,2008 Greece came third etc. that’s the <>)
Lastly , the true eurovision funs don’t watch the contest with this feeling of hateness that I can easy understand that you have it and also this contest is not only money unless you want only the BIG5 countries to participate.That’s all I want to say and nothing else I don’t to waste my time with you!!

MTD
MTD
6 years ago

@emmaeurovisionfun

“Greece is not sending a circus in Eurovision”

You’re joking, right? 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014…

About being the “pillar” of Eurovision (for the ones claiming) – you’re joking, as well, right? No country is a pillar, actually, the Big 5 is – the ones that pay larger percentage of money. Same thing would have been said about Turkey, if Turkey competed these days, by loyal Turkish fans, but no – there’s nothing like pillar-countries of Eurovision. Even Italy was out of the contest and still ESC managed it well. So, shut up.

#eurovision
#eurovision
6 years ago

I have to say that I agree with emmaeurovisionfun, Pastora Soler haha, Timselvision and with Darren.
The others…….

#rise_up
#rise_up
6 years ago

I’m from Greece and I think that my country is one of the most important countries in the contest. The Greek people are “fall in love” with the contest.
WE CAME TO STAY 🙂
WE LOVE EUROVISION <3
3

emmaeurovisionfun
emmaeurovisionfun
6 years ago

Dear Charles, You cannot speak so bad for a country.Also Greece is not sending a circus in Eurovision.Yes,they have sent some bad songs(and all the counrties have sent bad songs in this contest,noone is perfect) but the most of them songs are wonderfull and they have stayed in Eurovision history.I think that all the countries are important in Eurovision.I also think that the televoting is the most important part of Eurovision but as I have understood you don’t support dem?cratic way at eurovision because you think that televoting is not important and it supports crap songs(you maybe think as lot… Read more »

Charles
Charles
6 years ago

Quoting Pastora Soler Ha Ha Ha “I see in my mind a handsome man or beautiful woman with a catchy song” … And this is what Greece gives people by being a “pillar” in a supposedly song contest … the same outcome that explains why Britney Spears still has lots of people paying to see her lipsync nonstop in Las Vegas or people still giving Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian focus and attention for no understandable reason whatsoever. In other words, too many wrong things all at once and still nobody cares. How further below can one’s shallowness and lack… Read more »

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Agreed with David on this. I think it’s naive to assume that independence can be guaranteed given that any such station would be *funded* by the government. But I can understand why the EBU would want to at least make it more difficult in theory for the government to control too much of how the station operates, as much as it’s more for show than for anything else.

Pastora Soler haha
Pastora Soler haha
6 years ago

Maybe for you not, but for me Greece is an important country in Eurovision. One of the most…

If I think in the contest and I have to say some countries… Greece is one of them.

I remember Greece perfomances, and I see in my mind a handsome man or beautiful woman with a catchy song.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Azerbaijani, Belarussian and Russian broadcasters are all members of EBU. Nobody thinks that those are even close to independent, so why should EBU use higher standards for NERIT? —> this!

Although i believe that Greece should take a break.

Timselvision
Timselvision
6 years ago

Why does everybody hates Greece? They´ve send great songs over the past years. I seriously liked every song from them from 2001 on (with exception of 2003), but this year was meh. I like Greece in ESC and I would be very sad when they would withdraw.

David Thielen
6 years ago

If the government funds the broadcaster, then who is supposed to run it other than the government. It’s the Golden Rule – he who provides the gold makes the rules.

DR
DR
6 years ago

I agree with Charles. Greece is not a pillar of eurovision. No one country is. It would be a shame for Greece to leave, but it wont be the end of the world.
No one country has been in every contest, meaning no one country was pivotal to ESC. With its 60th on its way, shows it is important how many countries take part, not which countries take part.

Charles
Charles
6 years ago

Greece, a pillar of Eurovision? Since when? And what kind Eurovision are we talking about really? The televoting one … where any piece of rubbish has been utterly appreciated to the point of nonsense?

I’ve always said this: it wouldn’t hurt Greece to be out of Eurovision to sort their issues first and foremost … but it’s like taking a toy out of a child’s hand … everybody wants the Greek circus to stay .. and God knows who’s paying it to stay. Not the fans that is for sure.

Darren
Darren
6 years ago

I seriously think that there is bigger problems in the national broadcasters of Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia and Belarus which should be dealt with, NERIT is only a brand new broadcaster, whose setting up was rushed by the EBU, they need the time to find their feet, ESC 2015 won’t be the same if Greece and Romania are not there.

Dani Moti
6 years ago

In Spain works exactly the same way, the member of RTVE board are proportional to the seats each party has in the Parlament, now is fully control by the Rightwing party (Populist Party) and this can be seen on the programs broadcasted and also in the news which they show and they do not, former president Zapatero passed a law which avoid government to influence on RTVE but the new board from 9/11/2011 changes it again

MarcelFIN
MarcelFIN
6 years ago

Azerbaijani, Belarussian and Russian broadcasters are all members of EBU. Nobody thinks that those are even close to independent, so why should EBU use higher standards for NERIT?

Jamaraqueer
Jamaraqueer
6 years ago

Seriously. Greece needs to sort itself out!

davve
davve
6 years ago

Greece please get your act together!!