June 14 - As debate heats up over the sudden closure of the Greek state broadcaster, employees of the network continued to transmit live TV and radio shows for a fourth straight day on Friday, in defiance of government orders to shut down their operation and evacuate the headquarters. Mana Rabiee reports.
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A blow to democracy.
That's how Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras described on Friday the government's decision to abruptly shut down state broadcaster ERT.
(SOUNDBITE) (Greek) OPPOSITION LEADER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING:
"Such things happen on only on two occasions, minister: only when there is a foreign invasion of a country or when there is a collapse of democracy."
But Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said a leaner, better broadcaster WILL relaunch, and the move was necessary to rid ERT of waste and corruption.
(SOUNDBITE) (Greek) FINANCE MINISTER, YANNIS STOURNARAS, SAYING:
"I would like to remind you of what you said on May 18. You said then that it was a channel of a dictatorship government, a channel of bailout propaganda. I think today you are crying crocodile tears."
The shut down stunned many Greeks, and prompted protests and union strikes.
On Friday, ERT employees continued to transmit live TV and radio shows for a fourth straight day, in defiance of the government's order to shut down their operation and evacuate the headquarters.