No deal in Greek coalition over closure of state TV

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ATHENS: Greece’s coalition government was facing a rift on Friday, after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his junior coalition allies failed to agree on the future of state broadcaster ERT, closed by the government last week.

“No one wants elections right now. Today we have marked one year as government and we will do our full [four-year] term,” said the premier after an emergency cabinet meeting that he convened on Thursday, following the inconclusive talks with his allies.

Junior partner Fotis Kouvelis, leader of moderate leftists Democratic Left, expressed his objections to Samaras’ handling of ERT.

“There was no agreement. For us it is a matter of democratic legality . . . We disagree with actions that offend legality,” he said.

Leader of socialists Pasok, Evangelos Venizelos, said he continues to support the government.

“We want the government to continue operating as a three-party coalition,” he said and called on Kouvelis to participate in a restructuring of the government’s terms of collaboration.

However, both of the smaller coalition allies have expressed deep misgivings about the sudden closure of ERT on June 11, a move which caused national and international uproar.

AFP

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