A court hearing has begun into whether the Greek government acted illegally by suddenly shutting down its public broadcaster, ERT.
The trade union challenge to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras comes as he also faces angry coalition partners amid fears of a hugely disruptive snap election.
Aware his allies stand to lose heavily in any election, the conservative Samaras has refused in a flurry of speeches to turn what he’s called the “sinful” ERT back on.
Our Athens correspondent Stamatis Giannisis said:
Samaras has vowed to fight to modernise a country
he says had become a “Jurassic Park” of inefficiency and corruption. But his decision to move ahead with the closing of ERT is perceived as a show of determination to push forward with public sector reform, and also a message to Greek voters in favour, that he is not willing to step back regardless of the political cost.”
But a ruling in favour of the union would temporarily suspend the government decision, meaning ERT’s signal would be restored.
It could also offer a way out of the impasse by allowing coalition partners to maintain their positions but defer to the court as the final say on the matter.