New Greek government reinstates public broadcaster that was shut down amid austerity measures

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ATHENS, Greece — Lawmakers from Greece's new left-wing government voted Wednesday to reinstate the country's public broadcaster, ERT, which was abruptly shut down two years ago as part of austerity measures.

Parliament voted to re-hire more than 1,500 ERT workers and incorporate a protest TV station operated online by fired employees.

In June 2013, ERT television and radio broadcasts were abruptly taken off the air by the previous conservative government. A new broadcaster was later opened, using fewer staff.

Greece had been under pressure from international lenders to swiftly reduce the size of its civil service in return for continued bailout loans.

The Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe welcomed the parliament vote.

"(ERT) will be an essential source of information, education and entertainment to the public that can further increase media pluralism in Greece," said Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE's representative for media freedom.

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