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Divided Greek coalition government avoids collapse over state TV closure, friction persists

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ATHENS, Greece - Greece's deeply divided governing coalition has avoided collapsing in a dispute over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' closure of state television.

After more than three hours of talks late Monday, Samaras' centre-left minority partners said talks would continue this week on how to keep state broadcasts going until Hellenic Broadcasting Corp., or ERT, is replaced by a new public broadcaster.

Earlier Monday, a high court issued a provisional ruling that the decree shutting off ERT's signal last week was illegal. But the court also said Samaras' government was within its rights to close the company, axing nearly 2,700 jobs.

Greece is implementing tough spending cuts, tax hikes and administrative reforms demanded by international creditors providing vital rescue loans.

The decision to close ERT has sparked protests in Greece and international criticism.

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