Change is afoot in Greece. With the new Greek government now instilled and attempting to make good on its election promises, it has announced that ERT — the Greek state broadcaster that was shut down in the summer of 2013 — will re-open. It will replace the two-year-old NERIT, which means Eurovision will likely be broadcast on the reborn ERT, just as it was for years before the shut down. And while Greeks will likely watch Eurovision on a different channel, those of us on the outside won’t see much of a difference. Maria-Elena Kyriakou will still be singing and she’ll still be rocking her ballad “One Last Breath”. YASSSS!
The actual law and reform and various deets have been drafted, but the Greek parliament still needs to debate the ins and outs. This may all seem semantic and meaningless to outisiders, but there is heavy symbolism in Greece. NERIT, formed by the previous government, faced accusations of partisan ties and was said to serve as a mouthpiece of the government. The reborn ERT, which Greeks loved, will inform, educate and entertain the public — and be truly independent from any public or private interests. We hope, anyway.
Greek viewers will be able to watch ERT again in early May, just before Eurovision.
SECRET MEETING WITH THE EBU
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has had a special meeting with EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot and EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre, where the EBU gave formal approval to ERT’s comeback. Rumor has it that the EBU requested this meeting, as Mr. Tsipras’ party has been against them, after the EBU’s decision to stop helping ERT’s sacked employees. The EBU bigwigs apparently apologised for once accepting and supporting NERIT.
In short: the decision to re-establish ERT will not create new problems for Greece at the 60th Eurovision Song Contest. Just erase the “N” and “I” from NERIT and you have ERT!