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Greek state TV and radio have gradually been pulled off the air, just hours after the government said it would temporarily close all state-run broadcasts and lay off about 2,500 workers.The actions were apparently taken on Tuesday as part of a cost-cutting drive demanded by the country's international creditors.The conservative-led government said earlier that the Hellenic Broadcasting Corp, or ERT, would reopen "as soon as possible" with a new, smaller workforce.It was not immediately clear how long that would take, and whether all stations would reopen.Shortly after the unexpected announcement, thousands rushed to the headquarters of ERT, in a northern Athens suburb, to show their support.The decision widened cracks in the year-old governing coalition, with both minority partners condemning the suspension of ERT.However, Simos Kedikoglou, spokesman for the government and a former state TV journalist, described ERT as a "haven of waste"."ERT is a typical example of unique lack of transparency and incredible waste. And that ends today," Kedikoglou said."It costs three to seven times as much as other TV stations and four to six times the personnel for a very small viewership, about half that of an average private station."
Greek broadcaster defying order to closeATHENS, Greece (AP) — Journalists fired from Greece's state TV and radio have refused to leave the broadcaster's headquarters, continuing Internet programming, as the country's conservative-led government faced political crisis a year after taking office.State TV and radio signals were cut early Wednesday after the government closed the Hellenic Broadcasting Corp., ERT, and fired its 2,500 workers, citing the need to cut "incredible waste" as the bailed out country endures a sixth year of recession.But thousands of protesters remained outside ERT's giant headquarters north of Athens through the night as journalists continued a live broadcast, which was streamed online.Journalist unions called a 24-hour strike, halting private television news programs, while the government's center-left coalition partners demanded that ERT's closure be reversed.