Greek government back in talks to end TV crisis

ATHENS (AP) - Greece's governing coalition parties are to meet for a second time in three days to try and end a political crisis triggered by the closure of state broadcaster ERT.

Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will hold talks later Wednesday with coalition partners - the Socialist Pasok and Democratic Left parties - who have opposed his decision to switch of ERT's signal and fire all its 2,700 employees.

The dispute has raised the threat of a snap general election in crisis-hit Greece, just one year after the last general election. But most analysts have argued that politicians are unlikely to gamble on the country's vital bailout programme given that opinion polls suggest no party would emerge the outright winner.

Shares on the Athens Stock Exchange were broadly unchanged on Wednesday, as markets in Europe drifted.

Pasok spokeswoman Fofi Gennimata demanded that the government switch ERT's signal back on, in compliance with a high court decision this week.

But conservatives insist the public broadcaster will remain off the air until a more efficient state TV and radio network is set up.

"It's fairly simple. A mistake has been made and it must be corrected," Gennimata told private Vima FM radio. "It requires bravery to correct a mistake. But that is necessary. It's not acceptable for an elected government to fail to comply with a high court order." Gennimata denied reports that senior members of her party were seeking Samaras' replacement as prime minister.

Fired ERT employees have continued unauthorised broadcasts since the broadcaster's June 11 closure, streamed mostly online and on disused analog frequencies, and have even expanded regional TV and radio programming this week.

Journalist and other media unions on Wednesday filed a law suit against Greece's finance and media ministers, accusing them of violating the high court ruling.

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