Venizelos, Kouvelis discuss ERT closure ahead of crucial meeting with Samaras

A meeting between junior coalition partners Evangelos Venizelos, head of socialist PASOK, and Fotis Kouvelis, leader of Democratic Left, was underway on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of a crucial meeting between the two political leaders and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras scheduled for 6 p.m. on the same day. The issue at both meetings was the closure of state broadcaster ERT.

According to sources Venizelos and Kouvelis aimed at developing a common position regarding ERT, whose fate remained undetermined following the government’s decision to close it down last week. A subsequent ruling by the country’s Council of State stating that the government had the right to close the national radio and television network but not to cut the broadcaster’s signal was interpreted in different ways by the political parties.

On Tuesday reports suggested that Samaras’s final proposal called for the rehiring of all 2,600 dismissed ERT members of staff on fixed-term contracts that would see them work for two months, the estimated period of transition from ERT to a new, streamlined state broadcaster.

Meanwhile, main opposision leader Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZA, was expected to visit ERT’s headquarters in Aghia Paraskevi at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday.