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The unimaginable happens on Greek television – to Greek television

Last night I, and millions of others, saw a little bit of television history. Television history is not when they do a particularly fine historical drama. It is when the drama happens to television itself. Yesterday it did, to Greek television anyway, when Greece’s equivalent of the BBC was shut down, in mid show, live, on television. The BBC showed it, last night. Then they showed one of the sackees saying, in English, to the BBC, that the public sector of Europe was indeed rather too “bloated”.

Someone described in the headline above this piece as the “Europe TV chief” has said that Greek TV should be switched back on immediately:

The head of Europe’s public broadcasters has arrived in Greece to show support for 2,600 fired state TV and radio staff and demand that the country’s conservative government put the stations back on the air.

I had not realised that there was a “head of Europe’s public broadcasters”. Blog and learn.

Jean-Paul Philippot, president of the Switzerland-based European Broadcasting Union, said he would meet with Greece’s Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras to hand him a petition signed by 51 European broadcast executives calling for the broadcaster’s signal to be restored immediately.

A “petition”, “calling for” business as usual to be restored forthwith. Yes, that’ll do it. Clearly, these people fear that they and their underlings could be next, as they could if the Euro-crisis gets worse, as it will.

What I particularly like about this drama is that it changes what is imaginable. Public opinion does not tend to waste its time desiring what is unimaginable. But when what is unimaginable becomes imaginable by actually happening, that can also change what is then desired.

19 comments to The unimaginable happens on Greek television – to Greek television

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    I had not realised that there was a “head of Europe’s public broadcasters”.

    Ah yes, the European Broadcasting Union, a strange body that exists to negotiate collectively with certain international sporting bodies (most notably the International Olympic Committee) in order to ensure that their events remain on public broadcasters and also exists to run the Eurovision Song Contest.

    I am sure you guessed that the International Olympic Committee and the Eurovision Song Contest would be mixed up with this. They had to be, somehow.

  • What euro crisis? I was assured by President Hollande that it was over.

  • Alsadius

    I’d love to see that video with subtitles.

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    Quite. Are they talking about being closed down, or is the switch just flipped while they are talking about something else?

  • Sigivald

    The EBU could try paying for them to work.

    That would have the advantage of actually working.

  • Mr Ed

    TV in the UK ceased for me about 3 years ago, no TV, ergo, no TV licence. Life is so much better, none of the active boredom of television. No money going to the BBC or getting ‘top-sliced’. The odd hotel stay reminds me of what a bizarrely inflexible device a TV is.

    Of course, the danger might be that if TV stops, or diminishes, people might just wonder why they got by watching it, and start to think if it is actually any good, some might conclude that we need a State publishing monopoly granting patents to other publishers, and churning out grimly unsatisfactory books ‘in the public interest’ with a mandatory ‘balance’, but that would sound silly if it were proposed now.

    i heard somewhere that Greek State TV was a spin-off from the Army, so it might be duller even than the BBC.

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    You may have noticed that despite the fact that British entries always do badly, Britain is always represented in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. This is because Britain is one of the small number of countries that pays the EBU’s bills for it. I am not sure if this happens via the BBC, or through some other route, but however it is done, we are paying for whatever the EBU is doing. (The EBU is not connected to the EU in any way, incidentally, and many of its members are non-EU (and even non-European). Nobody is to be blamed for this arrangement except us, probably via the BBC).

  • RAB

    Result! Well done Greece. It won’t happen to the BBC tough will it? It is an institution even more revered than the NHS 😉 Despite Fat Pang being much more candid than usual…


  • Paul Marks

    They are still putting out their stuff on the internet – thanks to the Communist Party (odd that they should go to them for aid – well not odd at all).

    Private television (unionised) is on strike – like most things in Greece (or the Greek big cities anyway).

    27$ unemployment and they are still messing about.

    The future of the rest of Europe? Indeed the rest of the West?

  • Mr Ed

    An epitaph for Greece? ‘They rejected the bourgeois, necessary concept of scarcity, and as a corollary, they had no concept of the necessity of acting in an economic manner. They starved.’.

  • Regional

    In Boganstan the public broadcaster the A.B.C. a.k.a. Aunty relentlessly campaigns for the Labor, as the commercial Meeja do this, Aunty is no longer needed.

  • AngryTory

    Fuck “public opinion” – it’s just a bunch of lefty scum and lefty jounros & broadcasters.

    BBC, ABC, CBC, PBS, TVNZ and RadioNZ should follow the way of ETS TOMORROW

    (heh – in Greece the unionist bludging scum refused to be fired and stayed on – the PM sent in the riot police to deal with them in the only way possible – rubber bullets in confined spaces).

    If Key had any guts, if Banks hand any courage, NZ should do the same immediately. And if this can be done to the ETS it can for sure be done to the BBC, RNZ/TVNZ & ABC,
    (Hell – taking out the ABC is one of Tony Abbot’s policy – the Aussies may well follow Greece by the end of the year!!!)

    And if we can take out the ABC or TVNZ, the next day take out the schools & hospitals as well

    What a novel idea: A government that just says “no!” and sends in riot police to shut the commie fuckers down! TV, schools, radio, hospitals. And most of all, benefits / super / social security

    It’s well past time for it all to end

  • Steve Adams

    Glorious Revolution!!! May this day in Greek history repeat itself through put the world!!

  • Why don’t you just switch off your television set and go and do something less boring instead?

    Living on the road and in hotels in foreign countries all over the world from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe, I gradually disconnected from British TV and now just use the internet for my amusement.

    When something does pique my interest, I just download the entire series onto my 4TB external drive and watch the season over a few nights or a weekend.

    Just finished watching Series 2 of Boardwalk Empire…

    TV License? Do I need a Washing Machine license as well? Time the BBC and other taxpayer funded broadcasters were told to go subscriber only and then we would see what the market value of the “uniquely funded” BBC really is.

    The example of ERT’s shutdown by the Greek government was the best thing to come out of Greece since Humous and buggery.

    Even better and almost beyond parody, the fuckers have now gone on strike.


  • Regional

    By ignoring the Meeja one is better informed.

  • Richard Thomas

    If you ask around, you’ll find that most people think government is too bloated. They just fail to internalize what that means and what it implies, both for them and others.

  • Richard T: quite. Then the “oh well, we don’t want to stop the government doing (my favourite thing)” starts.
    The dissolution of state television may well go some way to putting that to an end, as well.

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  • SC

    >2,600 fired state TV and radio staff

    Only 2600? Call that bloated? The BBC has over 20 000 staff!