Greece’s new public television, EDT, has begun broadcasting news, more than two months after the government shut down the previous state broadcaster, ERT.
ERT’s 2,700 workers were all sacked in June, but carried on making shows for web streaming and satellite relay.
Greece’s conservative-led coalition said ERT cost too much in an economic crisis. A left-wing party withdrew from government in protest at the closure.
The European Broadcasting Union stopped ERT relays when EDT began airing news.
Greece’s new public television, EDT, has begun broadcasting news, more than two months after the government shut down the previous state broadcaster, ERT
Greek authorities recently announced that more than 500 people had been hired on a two-month contract for the new state broadcaster.
Its first news programme was a two-hour broadcast that began at 08:00 local time. The show was presented by two journalists who used to work for ERT.
Since it went on air for the first time last month, EDT has been mainly showing old Greek black-and-white films.
Union representatives at ERT have vowed to continue their programming via the internet, the Associated Press news agency reported.
European Broadcasting Union (EBU) representatives had visited Greece frequently to meet government officials and express disagreement with the decision to close ERT.
Former employees at ERT’s headquarters had called on the EBU to keep the channel’s signal alive through its satellites.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said a small number of people could be hired to produce news and current affairs programmes until a new public service broadcaster is set up.
Antonis Samaras has been heavily criticized for ordering the sudden closure of public broadcaster ERT.
The offer of a concession follows pressure from the PM’s partners in the coalition government.
ERT’s sudden closure is part of the drive to cut government spending.
The government said the closure was an essential measure to help meet the country’s debt bailout obligations.
It described ERT as a “haven of waste” and said it would relaunch it as a smaller, independent public broadcaster.
Antonis Samaras is due to meet his coalition partners on Monday to discuss the issue.
He wants the replacement broadcaster to be established by the summer.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has called on the Greek government to reopen ERT.
Greek PM Antonis Samaras has said a small number of people could be hired to produce news and current affairs programmes at ERT
A petition signed by 51 European directors general is to be handed over to the Athens government.
The EBU called the government’s action “anti-democratic” and “unprofessional”.
Viewers watching the news on the main ERT TV channel saw broadcasting cease late on Tuesday evening.
Journalists however refused to leave the building and online and satellite broadcasts are being maintained with the help of the EBU website.
ERT, which began broadcasting in 1938, was funded by a direct payment of 4.30 euros ($5.6) added monthly to electricity bills.
It ran three domestic TV channels, four national radio stations, as well regional radio stations and an external service, Voice of Greece.
Since its sudden closure, nearly 2,700 workers have lost their jobs, but they will be able to apply to work for the new corporation.
Employees have protested outside the building since Tuesday and the closure also sparked a 24-hour general strike in the country.
The Greek government has pledged to cut thousands of public-sector jobs in order to receive billions of euros in rescue loans from the EU and IMF.
Armenia has announced its withdrawal from the 2012 Eurovision song contest in Baku amid new tension with its old rival Azerbaijan.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organizer of Eurovision song contest, said it was “truly disappointed” by Armenian Public Television’s decision.
Azerbaijani and Armenian forces fought a war over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the 1990’s which left at least 25,000 people dead.
A ceasefire was signed in 1994, but no permanent peace deal has been reached.
There has also been internal tension in Azerbaijan, where security forces used force to break up an opposition rally in the northern district of Quba on Friday.
Armenia has announced its withdrawal from the 2012 Eurovision song contest in Baku amid new tension with its old rival Azerbaijan
Armenian Public Television accused Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev of making hostile remarks in recent days.
“Despite the fact that the Azerbaijani authorities have given security guarantees to all participating countries, several days ago the Azerbaijani president made a statement that enemy number one for Azerbaijan were the Armenians,” the Armenian TV said in a statement quoted by AFP news agency.
Last month, a group of Armenian pop singers launched a Eurovision boycott campaign, saying: “We refuse to appear in a country that is well known for mass killings and massacres of Armenians, in a country where anti-Armenian sentiments have been elevated to the level of state policy.
“There is no logic to sending a participant to a country where he will be met as an enemy.”
In a speech about local government on 28 February, which was posted on the Azerbaijani leader’s website, President Ilham Aliyev said: “Our main enemies are Armenians of the world and the hypocritical and corrupt politicians under their control.”
Reacting to news of the Armenian withdrawal, senior Azerbaijani politician Ali Ahmedov told reporters that Armenia had no genuine reason to boycott the competition in Baku.
“The Armenian refusal to take part in such a respected contest will cause even further damage to the already damaged image of Armenia,” said Ali Ahmedov, who is secretary of the governing party.