A debate began in Parliament on Friday morning on a bill foreseeing the creation of a new state broadcaster, to be known as New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television (NERIT) that is to replace ERT which was shut down suddenly last month on the orders of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

The discussion in Parliament came less than a day after the House rejected a proposal by the main leftwing opposition SYRIZA for an investigative committee to be set up to probe the closure of ERT.

Addressing Parliament on Thursday, Deputy Culture Minister Pantelis Kapsis who has been tasked with setting up NERIT, said an announcement would be put out in the coming days for the first 500 of some 2,000 jobs at an interim broadcaster.

As for ongoing talks with laid-off ERT workers, Kapsis said there had been progress on all issues but that a settlement was being obstructed by "a group of unionists who are determined not to leave the ERT building," referring to the old broadcaster's headquarters in Aghia Paraskevi, north of Athens.

Meanwhile most of the private television stations involved in setting up the digital broadcaster Digea joined a 24-hour strike on Friday called by unions in protest at the NERIT legislation.