High Noon in Greece: Samaras Fires Blanks



The man Antonis Samaras could have been
The man that Antonis Samaras could have been

A good lawyer knows that you never ask a question unless you already know the answer. A good leader would know never to accuse someone of wrongdoing when they have a bag of evidence that you were in on it.

Whatever scintilla of integrity that Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had when he said he had to close down the national broadcaster ERT to meet demands from international lenders to fire 2,500 workers this summer – there were 2,656 at the station, all of whom were summarily dismissed with five minutes notice – evaporated the moment the people he said (correctly in many cases) were lazy, incompetent overpaid political appointees doing little or nothing pointed out that he had hired many of them. He was hoist with his own ERT-ard here.

Samaras’ New Democracy Conservatives and his alleged rival PASOK Socialists (politicians may have different ideologies but they all speak the same language – currency) have taken turns the last 40 years using ERT as a dumping ground for political hires, including bags of people knocking down three times the salary of real workers there as “advisors” whose job apparently was to advise where their check for doing nothing should be sent.

The problem here is that fat isn’t layered in, it’s marbled in, so when Samaras took the coward’s way out and fired everyone at ERT, he put decent, hard-working people on the bread line that already has 1.3 million people in it – all of them up to this point from the private sector which has a record 27.4 percent unemployment rate.

If Samaras wanted to get rid of dead wood he just had to look around the Parliament where non-workers are knocking down big euros for handing out glasses of water and saluting MP’s, but he not only didn’t fire a single one of the Walking Dead there, he caved in to their blackmail they would strike and exempted them from austerity measures.

But then again he has also given a free pass to his own political hires at ERT who didn’t get a pay cut at the same time everyone else there was getting hammered. Hypocrisy is its own vice and you can run on for a long time doing it, but sooner or later, God is gonna cut you down.

Samaras had a strong argument that people at ERT had to go – but all of them at the same time? Under that logic, every single fossil pretending to work in the Parliament are shining examples of merit.

In a feeble attempt to support his decision, he said there would be an investigation into corruption and mismanagement at ERT, without mentioning that it was his party and PASOK who piled a mountain of political cronies there.

Samaras said the truth would come out and embarrass the station’s supporters. It has, and it’s embarrassed him, taking away his integrity and credibility at the same time.  “We had to do away with such an ERT for an investigation to start … those who rushed to defend ERT will regret it. When the embargo on information ends and the true face of ERT is revealed, some will start feeling ashamed,” he said. Take a look in the mirror, buddy.

What Greece needed here was a real hero, Gary Cooper in High Noon, or Spencer Tracy in Bad Day at Black Rock, Buford Pusser Walking Tall and swinging a big stick against corruption, someone who would do the right thing even if it came at a personal cost, not Samaras losing his chance to show Greece’s creditors and the world that he wasn’t afraid of real reforms.

Greece needed a new Sheriff in town, not another gutless wonder and when his chance came, Samaras showed himself to be just another empty, expensive suit, guilty of the greatest sin, wasted potential from a man who knows better.

PILING THE DEAD WOOD

The way to do this was to start getting rid of people at ERT who don’t work, but that would have meant the people he directly or indirectly ordered there in the last year at the same time he had pensioner’s benefits cut to the point that Alpo was a main course for many.

Before the financial crisis hit in 2009, it had about 100 on-air presenters earning around $650,000 a year, according to a former ERT manager, and workers there have put together a list of shame over who has been placed there under his tenure. .

A New Democracy political crony at ERT
A New Democracy political crony at ERT

Giorgos Kogiannis, a former head of news at ERT, accused the government of hypocrisy for closing ERT down to cut costs, claiming that the three-party government formed last June immediately appointed its own people to key posts there and tripled the number of advisers to the new chief executive.

“As soon as they came to government, they started the political appointments at ERT,” Kogiannis told the New York Times. “They put 20 advisers in the C.E.O.’s office, compared to six before.” He added that several positions were given to people with close ties to the government spokesman, Simos Kedikoglou – a former ERT employee who said it was filled with corruption but never noticed that while he was there – and other top government officials.

And how do you think Kedikoglou got his job at ERT? If you can’t answer that, you’re qualified to be director of the station. He will turn out to be the face of disgrace in this matter, right next to Samaras, who could have shown what a real leader does if he had fired 2,656 political appointments across the board – including many at ERT – but also at other state agencies, including one that is overseeing a dried-up lake.

ERT was “always a political organization,” said Elias Mossialos, a professor of health policy at the London School of Economics, who as minister of state from June to November 2011 tried to alter the culture of ERT told the Times that he was rebuffed every time he tried to touch a sacred pig.

“I was confronted by all,” he said, noting that the broadcaster was hamstrung by “politicization, patronage, clientelism, interventions,” as when government officials would call in to dictate the news. Still, he said he opposed Samaras’s decision. “It was antidemocratic,” he said. “Because they failed elsewhere, they shut down ERT.”

BURN THAT LIST!

Want more? Kogiannis, in a blog maintained by fired ERT workers, said Samaras shot himself in the foot at the same time it was in his mouth when he said that ERT was only a “center of waste,” and “stronghold of a lack of transparency and corruption.”

Kogiannis said that Samaras’ government ordered the hiring of at least 30 advisors and “special staff” (translation: no show jobs) to continue the tradition of placing nobodies at ERT and paying them to really work out of the offices of PASOK and New Democracy. Why do you think PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, a partner in Samaras’ Three Stooges coalition, really is objecting to the closing of ERT? You can’t fire all your friends.

Now, THIS guy knows how to clean out corruption
Now, THIS guy knows how to clean out corruption

Among these complaints is that the government directed a 1 million euros ($1.3 million) budget be given to a show called Mesogeion 136, which Kogiannis claims was created to give a job to Anthi Salagkoudi, a former New Democracy candidate and daughter of former New Democracy finance minister Yiorgos Salagkoudis, as well as other relatives of New Democracy officials who got jobs with ERT.

Kogiannis says ERT’s legal department refused to sign the contract with this show’s production company, a contract that was drafted by Aimilios Liatsos, who was brought in to head the news at ERT by the Samaras government, EnetEnglish reported.

Samaras apparently forgot to mention that among the oblique hires was a koumbaros, best man, Giorgos Antoniou, who was appointed to ERT on a monthly salary of 3,500 euros – more than twice that of a top editor who actually works. Or that  Menelaos Sevastiadis, a koumbaros to Samaras’ communications director George Mouroutis, was also hired at 3,500 euros a month.

And don’t bleed for them or say that he fired them along with everyone else because they, and a lot of people like them, will be back when Samaras reinstitutes ERT with a staff of 1000-1200 to man its replacement, NERIT, by the end of the summer. He said the choices of whom will be brought back will based on “meritocratic criteria,” but you can take it to a recapitalized Greek bank that it will be a NERITOcracy.

 

 


26 COMMENTS

  1. Give the voice to the people! Hold elections now! The coalition government of sell outs has failed and is bankrupt. It is time for elections, give the rights to the Greek people. The rapid rise of the Golden Dawn, against the systemically corrupt parties that are crumbling, is the only hope for national and social regeneration.

  2. ·
    While Greeks are committing SUICIDE daily, why isn’t the Greek Justice System or Courts or the Press asking about where 250 million Euros went in bogus fraudulent loans to PASOK and ND Parties from their Banker cronies which they both so far “refuse” to account for ?!!!

    Where did this 250 million Euros in Greek Taxpayers money go to and into who’s greedy personal pockets??

    WHY IS THE PRESS & JUSTICE SYSTEM NOT ASKING them QUESTIONS???

    THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS behaviour by this Coalition Gov’t of thieves & Liars !

  3. Samaras is doing the right thing cutting ERT. Anyone with half a brain would applaud his move to save the Greek taxpayer money. Does it rationally follow then we should spend money on a bloated
    service… that we don’t actually need…instead of trying to reduce
    taxes and or say improve healthcare or education system?

    Andy the leftist as usually whining for more handouts from the government… than claiming to be against waste. Utterly illogical. With countless wasteful big spenders … of other people’s money…we wonder why Greece is a mess of debt?

  4. “for more handouts” you mean like the bailouts for your sacred german banks that samaras literally begs for from the ECB?

  5. You are more than welcome to pull money out of your own pocket to pay for ERT comrade. Stop trying to force others to do so you shameless parasite.

    Samaras isn’t trying to save German banks you idiot. He’s realizes we have to do our best to pay back our debts while also trying to save Greece (while incompetent whining far leftist morons continue to shamelessly rant for handouts and treasonously support illegals flooding our country)

  6. You are more than welcome to pull money out of your own pocket to pay for German bank bailouts nazi. Stop trying to force others to do so you shameless parasite.

    Samaras is trying to save German banks you idiot . He realizes we have to do our best to pay back German debts while also destorying Greece (while incompetent whining far rightist morons continue to shamelessly rant for handouts and treasonously support Germany destroying our country)

  7. You are not pulling out a dime to pay for our government debts. It Germans bailing out their own banks because of morons like you that shamelessly like to spend other people’s money.

  8. no you are not being a nazi living in your mother’s basement in america having never once been to Greece. samaras and you love destroying Greece to protect your sacred german banks

    for anyone still confsued about where nazi alex’s true colors lie

    Alex • 24 minutes ago

    You mean the German banks that were robbed (EMPHASIS ADDED) blind by thieving leftists like you that constantly shamelessly demand handouts from others?

  9. Your slanderous far leftist gibberish doesn’t change the fact YOU are the one constantly finding ways to demand the government handouts not me.

    Get a f-cking job and create something you lazy self-righteous troll. Stop demanding others feed you.

  10. Your slanderous far right gibberish doesn’t change the fact YOU are the one constantly finding ways to demand the government handouts not me. you are PRO-bailout. bailouts are the largest handouts of all and they are also fascist.

    Get a f-cking job and create something you lazy self-righteous troll. Stop demanding others feed you. and please answer me – what is your occupation other than being an unemployed nazi living in your mom’s basement in America and having never once been to Greece

  11. Right. Me supporting government cuts backs and paying back our debts is “begging for handouts”… and you shamelessly supporting being a deadbeat on our debts or and constantly whing for the government to give you money makes you pro-business.

    Good grief you are sick.

  12. austerity has proven to be a failure. it does not work in a deflationary environment with rapidly escalating unemplyoment.

    you mean paying back german banks 60:1 levered debts right?

    so bailouts are not handouts?

  13. Dear Stalin,

    Bailouts by the German and other EU members that you slander as “fascist” (for the “crime” of expecting us to pay back money we borrowed from them)…is not coming our pockets. Its coming out of THEIR pockets you self-righteous imbecile. You said yourself it is going to bail out THEIR banks you idiot.

    What far leftist parasites like you want to do by defaulting is stiff them even more. You have no ethics. You are a thief to the bone.

  14. dear hitler 2.0

    please go hang yourself in your mom’s basement. thanks

    really it’s coming out of their (wall st) pockets? wrong it’s coming out of the pockets of all of Europe’s middle class, and in the case of Greece and the 1.25 trillion in linked loans and who knows how many derivatives, all of her citizens via higher taxes, draconian spending cuts, and a total loss of any purchasing power by Samaras’ treasonous policies. compare that to iceland. i’d say 30% unemployment and 65% youth unemployment and a total collapse in GDP says otherwise. privatize profits socialize losses the mantra of fascist nazis like alex the germanotsolia.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/03/Iceland%20vs%20Greece_0.jpg

    defaulting in a credit transaction is not about ethics. it is a LEGAL part of the credit transaction. it’s part of the assumed underlying risk in any credit transaction. oh so instead let’s not default and continue to decimate the economy courtesy of samaras and nazis like yourself.

    for anyone still confused about where nazi alex’s true colors lie

    “Alex • 24 minutes ago

    You mean the German banks that were robbed (EMPHASIS ADDED) blind by thieving leftists like you that constantly shamelessly demand handouts from others?”

    Greece needs to call Europe’s bluff and just say NO.

  15. You misidentify the source of Greece’s current economic problems.

    Austerity was a given. We could not continue to spend other people’s money. What part of books need to be balanced don’t you understand? What part of we don’t produce like Americans and Germans to EARN the same standard of living don’t you understand? Do you see any Greek cars being exporting? Greek software? Greek medicines?

    The only mistake that was made by the IMF was not cutting debt principle more swiftly to a more manageable level. Without this, due to the nature of compounding interest we will eventually end up where we are again.

  16. and how’s austerity working out?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/03/Iceland%20vs%20Greece_0.jpg

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/06/20130529_youth.jpg

    fixing the employment picture first and foremost, then balancing later. a pure default and return to the drachma would help too. you can’t have the same standard of living and a competitive environment to be able to export when 1 greek euro = 1 german euro. it is impossible.

  17. You are just repeating you red herring. You are misidentifying the source of Greece’s current economic problems.

    if we want our economy to improve is has to come through the private sector. Unfortunatley anti-business far leftist nitwits are too busy irrationally arguing against the very businesses that provide wealth and jobs. Apparently our government is supposed to produce money from thin air to feed you. No need for us to produce products.

  18. says the person who obsesses about illegals and fyrom and leftists ad nauseum

    you are mis-identifying. the problems for Greece are the EU, not having a currency or a transfer mechanism like the US does with its States, and most recently the bailouts and foreign demands (violation of sovereignty that was never written in ANY bond contract) which have obliterated the country.

    “very businesses that provide wealth and jobs.” and which are those

  19. Ever since communist China started to move toward free market economics their economy and standard of living started to dramatically improve.

    While far leftist whiners like you shamelessly demand more money for yourselves, and average Chinese worker makes far less… and isn’t out on the street rioting and calling everyone “fascists’ as you do (China deports illegals incidentally)

    Crypto-commies like you are the ones effectively argue policies that are turning us into the third world nation. All the third world nations are trying to move away from socialism while fanatics like you are trying to move towards it.

  20. which socialist policy have i advocated for nazi?

    I wouldn’t really call China free market – they control the entire housing market. ever seen all those empty cities – who do u think built them.

    right let’s continue down this bailout route that you advocate for, at some point unemployment can hit 100% and from there things can improve.

  21. I have a right to be worried about 20% percent of our population that entered country and Skopians threatening our country.

    Of course you being a TREASONOUS far leftist buffoon care absolutely nothing about Greeks… until it comes time to sucking back money from other Greeks.

  22. China is a mixed economy now. Under pure communism they were starving by the millions.

    While you irrationally attacks Greeks that are pro-business and against big government, many in communist Syriza admire mass murderers like Stalin and Mao and colluding with Skopians.

  23. nazi – You are misidentifying the source of Greece’s current economic problems by constantly ranting about illegals fyrom leftists etc.

    it is right wing nazis like you who created this problem and continue to perpetuate it. Samaras is 100% responsible for the decimation of the country, 30% unemployment, and a complete loss of sovereignty to your masters in the euro. the stats don’t like. it is you who doesn’t care at all.

  24. I agree with many of your points. But I do not believe Greece needs Gary Cooper or anyone like that. As you rightly say elsewhere, the government is the source of the corruption. The fish rots from the head down. Greece simply needs a party in power that is not corrupt. The government in Greece, as led by Pasok or by New Democracy, has followed the same formula of blaming the people for the government’s own misdeeds. Pasok claimed that Greeks had a “culture or corruption”. Samaras calls ERT “sinful”. Shame on these unpatriotic political leaders who offer up their people as sacrificial victims.

  25. if samaras the germantsolia nazi like yourself is pro-business then why has the economy collapsed completely under him and the ND traitors you support even when he has a full coalition to do as he pleases?

    While you irrationally attacks Greeks that are capitalist (anti-bailout, anti-euro) and against big government (again anti-bailout, anti-euro) , many in nazi Golden Dawn and ND admire mass murderers like Hitler and colluding with Germans (and their banks)

  26. Can’t keep up so you have to cut and paste my own comments. As I said before… i can cut and paste too you lazy leftist f-cker.

    You are just repeating you red herring. You are misidentifying the source of Greece’s current economic problems.

    if we want our economy to improve is has to come through the private sector. Unfortunatley anti-business far leftist nitwits are too busy irrationally arguing against the very businesses that provide us wealth and jobs. Apparently our government is supposed to produce money from thin air to feed you. No need for us to produce anything. Sit back and relax comrade. Just vote for communist Syriza like you once voted for Pasok. Government welfare check is in the mail.