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Thousands Protest in Greece Against Broadcast Cutback

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Thousands of protesters rallied in Greece on Thursday as workers staged a nationwide strike to denounce the government's shutdown of public broadcaster ERT.

Demonstrators gathered outside ERT's offices in Athens and Thessaloniki to urge Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to reverse his decision to take ERT off the air as part of sweeping cost-cutting measures.

Mr. Samaras called a meeting for Monday with some center-left coalition partners that are calling for ERT to be re-opened.

Buses and trains came to a standstill across Greece Thursday as part of a 24-hour nationwide strike called by Greek journalist unions to protest the shutdown of ERT. The unions have urged their members to strike until the broadcaster is re-opened.

The government took ERT off the air early Wednesday, after announcing the shutdown Tuesday.



Greek officials say the ERT closure is a temporary measure before a re-launch in a slimmed-down form. About 2,500 workers lost their jobs in the shutdown. The government has not given a date for ERT to re-open.

Mr. Samaras is facing opposition from his coalition partners -- the socialist PASOK and the Democratic Left Party -- because of the closing.

Greece is struggling to shore up its finances and meet the terms of an international bailout.
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