Samaras: New broadcaster to be on air soon

June 15, 2013 at 6:33 PM
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ATHENS, Greece, June 15 (UPI) -- Greece's prime minister says he is willing to speed up the creation of a new public broadcaster but is adamant that the old one, ERT, has to go.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras offered the plan as a compromise Friday, Ekathimerini reported. He is scheduled to meet Monday with Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis, the heads of the two junior partners in the governing coalition.

Both PASOK and Democratic Left oppose Samaras' decision to shut down ERT. The move has also been criticized by the European Union.

Samaras said the new broadcaster could put some programs on the air next week. He told members of his New Democracy Party's youth group that ERT was too corrupt and too bloated with staff to justify continuing it.

"ERT was full of scandals that people will learn about soon," Samaras said.

A poll by Kapa Research for To Vimi newspaper found that the ERT closure was not a popular move. More than 64 percent of respondents described it as "negative" or "probably negative" while only 32 percent supported it.

The closing set off massive protests and strikes in the Athens area.

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