ATHENS – Singer-songwriter Dionysis Tsaknis has been appointed President of the new state broadcaster ERT, which is expected to absorb the station which replaced it, NERIT, and begin airing as soon as May 11.
The move by the coalition government led by Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras comes at a time when the country is going broke and requires the rehiring of 1,500 workers who, along with more than 1100 others, were summarily fired in June 2013.
They were let go by the administration of the then-ruling New Democracy Conservatives who were under pressure from international lenders to reduce the size of the bloated workforce with ERT reportedly a notorious patronage dumping ground for political hires.
It wasn’t explained how the two stations would work together as one. NERIT is staffed by former ERT workers as well. Restoring ERT was a major campaign promise of Tsipras, who said it will be funded by taxing private broadcasters and other means without burdening taxpayers.
Born in Karditsa, central Greece, in 1954, Tsaknis studied economics and music in Athens. He has recorded 27 albums and collaborated with noted Greek vocalists and composers. It wasn’t reported whether he has any managerial experience.
Journalist Lambis Tagmatarchis was appointed ERT’s Chief Executive Officer.