Greece′s replacement public broadcaster launched | News | DW | 04.05.2014
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Greece's replacement public broadcaster launched

Greece's new state broadcaster, NERIT, has begun transmissions, 11 months after its predecessor was shut down and many of its journalists were laid off.

The New Greek Radio, Internet and Television (NERIT) launched the first of its programs on Sunday. NERIT also said it planned coverage of local and European parliamentary elections.

The abrupt closure of its predecessor, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) last June caused a public outcry and the defection of the Democratic Left from coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

At the time, Athens claimed that the former broadcaster was bloated and ineffective, with 2,600 employees and annual costs of 300 million euros ($416 million). Defiant staff continued to broadcast online until expelled in November.

NERIT began its program Sunday with staff from EDT, Greece's interim public broadcaster, which went on air last July by rehiring some ERT employees.

The new station's president, George Prokopakis, told the state-run Athens News Agency (ANA) that the broadcast launch would be "modest."

"Procedural" problems had delayed the launch, initially intended for April 27, he said.

Intervention still criticized

Greece's To Vima newspaper on Sunday slammed the handling of the re-launch, describing it as "slipshod."

"After more than 10 months it's more than obvious that the shutdown of ERT was a hasty and slipshod decision," said a commentator of the influential daily.

Greece has been in recession for the past six years and is subject to bailout conditions set by the so-called "troika" - made up of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Bank.

ipj/msh (dpa, AFP)

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