Greek temporary public TV launches first live broadcast

Greece's temporary public television network launched its first live broadcast Wednesday, more than two months after the controversial shutdown of state broadcaster ERT caused a major political crisis.
"We will be here for two hours every morning," said journalist Yiannis Troupis, co-host of the new morning news show on temporary public channel DT along with veteran public TV anchorwoman Odin Linardatou.

DT, which started broadcasting in early July, one month after ERT's sudden closure, will also run sports shows focusing on the Champions League football tournament.

Meant as a stopgap until new broadcaster NERIT (New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television) starts operating, DT had so far only been airing stock footage, black-and-white films and old ERT programmes.

Seeking to cut spending, the crisis-battered Greek government abruptly pulled the plug on ERT on June 11, saying the organisation operated without transparency and ate up 300 million euros ($400 million) annually.

The move cost some 2,600 jobs overnight, caused an international outcry and nearly brought down the coalition government of conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras after one of its allies defected over the row.

Refusing to accept their dismissal, ERT staff have taken over the station's headquarters in northern Athens and have maintained a rogue broadcast since June 11.

The former employees were so far able to broadcast with the help of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which ceased streaming their station on Wednesday.

"The need for the EBU streaming has ended and from 9:00 am (0700 GMT) on Wednesday, August 21, the service will no longer be available," EBU chief Ingrid Deltenre said in a statement.

The rogue news programmes are still broadcast via Internet, notably at ertopen.com. (Hürriyet Daily News)

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