ERT closure Greek govt. decision: IMF

Protesters gather outside the state broadcasterâ„¢s headquarters in northern Athens suburb on June 19, 2013.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) dismisses allegations of having asked the Greek government to shut down the state broadcaster ERT as part of its bailout program.

Athens announced the surprise closure of ERT on June 11. The move, which is part of the Greek government’s unpopular austerity measures, has left the ERTâ„¢s nearly 2,700 staff suspended.

“The recent decisions regarding the state broadcasters have been the government’s,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice on Thursday.

“The authorities’ economic program is supported by IMF lending and that includes a reform of public administration, as you know, but doesn’t make specific recommendations on decisions involving state companies,” he added.

In April, the Greek parliament passed a bill to cut 15,000 state jobs by the end of 2014 as a condition for debt-stricken Greece to receive rescue loans from its European partners and the IMF.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to meet his coalition partners for a third time later on Thursday to break the countryâ„¢s recent political deadlock.

Samaras had a three-and-a-half hour meeting with the leaders of the Socialist Pasok and the moderate left Democratic Left on Wednesday over the future of the ERT.

The prime ministerâ„¢s coalition partners have called for the immediate restoration of ERT broadcasts, but Samaras has refused to reinstate it in its old form.

On Wednesday, some 2,000 protesters gathered outside the ERT headquarters in the capital, Athens, in solidarity with the broadcasterâ„¢s staff.

On June 17, Greece’s top administrative court told the government to restore public broadcasts. However, the ERT’s TV channels and radio stations remained off the air Wednesday.

SAB/KA

This article originally appeared on: Press TV