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Business

Greek state broadcaster back on air under different name

Greece's new state broadcaster caller EDT has started programming some two months after the previous ERT station was abruptly closed by the government to cut costs. Personnel was hired on two-month contracts only.

The new Greek station launched with a two-hour news program on Wednesday morning. EDT focused on an analysis of the economic situation in the debt-stricken eurozone nation. It also included international stories based on BBC and Al Jazeera coverage.

The Greek government said 500 people had been hired for the new state broadcaster, but only on two-month contracts.

In June, Athens suddenly shut down the old ERT station and dismissed all 2,700 of its staff - a move that drew widespread international criticism. The government said the measure was unavoidable to cut costs in a bid to meet requirements by the country's international creditors.

EBU backing

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Closure of Greek public TV causes widespread protests

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said it would "offer support and expertise to help Greece's new public station fulfill its potential for independence and solid governance."

In a show of solidarity, EBU had earlier backed the sacked ERT workers by streaming their broadcasts via satellite. The staff of the old station in Athens and Thessaloniki had been producing their own 24-hour private programming.

ERT unionists vowed programming by the sacked workers would continue via the Internet in a bid to provide an alternative to content aired by the new station EDT.

hg/dr (dpa, AP)

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