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Greece Is Too Slow to Bag Domain Name in Bid to Shut Broadcaster

Greece’s TV Shutdown Pits Samaras Against Governing Partners
People gather outside Greece's public broadcaster ERT headquarters in Athens on June 12, in support of the broadcaster's staff and unions. Photographer: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

June 13 (Bloomberg) -- A bid by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to shut down TV broadcaster ERT and replace it with a company called Nerit was waylaid by a news blog that claimed the domain name nerit.gr first.

The domain was registered yesterday after the government announced the new name of the broadcaster. The government shut down ERT on June 11 describing it as corrupt and wasteful. Nerit, which stands for New Hellenic Radio Internet and Television, will be modern, transparent and meet international standards, said the government. Samaras’s coalition partners have demanded the broadcaster reopen.

“Nerit.gr is not available”, the web-page of www.nerit.gr says. Instead, the website is streaming a live feed of ERT employees who continued to broadcast over the Internet. “It’s not just ERT, it’s Democracy” the website said. The domain was registered by Troktiko, a Greek news blog.

Whois.net, a website that tracks domain name availability listed nerit.gr as taken and hosted by webtec.gr. Staff at WebTec, a website designer in Athens, said Troktiko registered the domain yesterday.

The home page for Nerit.gr says the domain name is no longer available and visitors should try “pitsaria-pou-eskise.gr,” a reference to comments by Samaras last year that he ran a pizza shop when he lived in the U.S. while he was in his 20s.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at astoukas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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