Government confirms closure of Greek state broadcaster tonight, with some 2,600 jobs set to go

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said that Greece's national broadcaster, ERT, would be shut down on Tuesday night, arguing that it was a source of «waste and lack of transparency."

Kedikoglou was speaking shortly after it emerged that the government had passed a legislative decree that allowed ministers to shut down public enterprises.

"The Greek people are paying for ERT, which has three times, even eight times, as much staff as it needs,» he said. «It has ample assets, which have remained unused."

Kedikoglou said that ERT suffered as a result of «management that lacked transparency, benefits for its workers and spending huge amounts on external productions».

Kedikoglou said that a «modern broadcasting service» would replace ERT. The new broadcaster would have fewer staff, he added without giving details. He said that new staff would be hired based o

ERT has close to 3,000 employees, according to employees' union POSPERT. The union claimed that more than 2,600 people are set to lose their jobs.

Greece is committed to firing 2,000 civil servants by the end of the year and 15,000 by the end of 2014.

Kedikoglou said that as long as ERT is off air, Greek households would not pay the broadcaster's license fee through their electricity bills.