No agreement in Greek coalition over closure of state broadcaster

Greece's coalition government faces a rift, as talks between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his junior allies failed Thursday to lead to an agreement regarding the future of state broadcaster ERT, closed by the government last week.

"There was no agreement. For us it is a matter of democratic legality... We disagree with actions that offend legality," said Fotis Kouvelis, leader of junior partners Democratic Left, after the meeting.

"The situation for our country is again particularly critical," said the leader of socialists Pasok, Evangelos Venizelos.

"What matters to us is to restore the operation of democratic institutions," he added.

Venizelos questioned the cohesion of the three-party government, but added that the prime minister had made some conciliatory actions.

Both Kouvelis and Venizelos called for the immediate implementation of the ruling of the Council of State, which on Monday called the closure of ERT S.A. as an entity legal, but said public broadcasts had to be restored.

Conservative Samaras held the third meeting in a week with his coalition partners, in an effort to break the political deadlock stemming from the government's decision to close the broadcaster.

After Thursday's inconclusive meeting, the premier called an emergency gathering of his cabinet.

At the same time, Kouvelis and Venizelos called emergency meetings with their respective parties.

A three-and-a-half hour meeting on Wednesday and a prior meeting on Monday had also proved inconclusive.