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Greek state broadcaster continues operations with old name, staff, 2 years after mass firings


ATHENS, Greece — Greece's state broadcaster has resumed operations under its old ERT name, and is proposing to rehire all staff fired in a cost-cutting, efficiency-boosting drive two years ago when the company was briefly closed.

Reinstating the broadcaster's name and full workforce was a key pledge of Greece's new radical left-led government, which campaigned strongly against the closure in June 2013 by the previous, conservative government. ERT was later replaced by a slimmed-down version called NERIT, but its abrupt closure angered many Greeks and drew international protests.

The government hailed Thursday's first broadcasts under the new name as a "victory for democracy."

It is still unclear how much the new company will cost, and how many people it will employ. The old ERT was widely criticized for political nepotism and profligate spending.

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