On August 19 German MPs voted to approve a third bailout for Greece, paving the way for one of Eurovision’s most successful nations to receive the first installment of its 85 billion euro package on August 20. But even with the cash flowing, ERT, Greece’s state broadcaster, won’t commit to Eurovision 2016 just yet. The situation is still evolving — and the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation doesn’t know how the government will apportion its most recent financial windfall.
Speaking with wiwibloggs, an ERT official had this to say:
ERT is fully recognized by the EBU, and thus maintains all the rights it had up until June 2013 [when it shut down, before later being revived]. Nevertheless, given the current situation in Greece, it is too early for us to know whether or not ERT will participate in Eurovision 2016.
In recent years broadcasting in Greece has reminded us the nation is most def the birthplace of DRAMA. In June 2013 the government suddenly shut down ERT, replacing it with NERIT (which came under criticism for being a mouthpiece of the government). Despite not being a member of the EBU, officials made an exception and allowed Greece to participate in Eurovision 2014. Fast forward and a newly-elected Greek government decides to re-open the defunct NERIT, exactly two years after it was shut down. In July 2015 banks were temporarily shut down, capital controls were applied and, as Maria-Elena Kyriakou warned, Greece was just “One Last Breath” from economic failure and a #Grexit. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?
The Greeks may love Eurovision, but that’s not enough to fund the Greek delegation in Stockholm — or to foot the bill for a national final. The latter task will be easier, perhaps with another ERT – MAD TV collaboration in the form of “Eurosong 2016”.
Hopefully ERT’s revival will spell greater success for Athens. ERT’s contestants landed in the Top 10 eight out of the nine times it participated since the introduction of the Semi-Finals (it also placed seventeenth in 2012 with “Aphrodisiac”). DT and NERIT have only managed to come twentieth and nineteenth, respectively.
So, do you want to see Greece in Eurovision once again?