Greek PM refuses to back down on state TV closure

ATHENS Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:10pm EDT

An employee wipes tears as she works with colleagues to broadcast a Web-Tv signal at the control room of the Greek state television ERT headquarters in Athens June 12, 2013. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

An employee wipes tears as she works with colleagues to broadcast a Web-Tv signal at the control room of the Greek state television ERT headquarters in Athens June 12, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yorgos Karahalis

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ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday said he would press ahead with plans to reform state broadcaster ERT and launched a blistering attack against those opposing its closure.

In remarks at an awards ceremony, he made no reference to a demand by his junior coalition partners to hold a meeting to resolve the issue and reopen the state broadcaster immediately.

"When thousands of business close and hundreds were losing their jobs there was no such reaction," he said.

"They are shouting because they don't want to lose their privileges, they are not shouting for the rights of the people... It is an outbreak of the hypocrisy that has brought Greece to this point and a system that is not willing to give up its privileges."

The surprise shutdown of ERT has triggered a public clash within Samaras's fragile three-party coalition, reopening concerns about political stability in Greece.

(Reporting by Harry Papachristou, writing by Karolina Tagaris, editing by Deepa Babington)

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