Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Greece held talks on Saturday over an imminent cabinet reshuffle after the defection of the ruling coalition's smallest partner in a row over the closure of the state broadcaster.

Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has pledged to stay the course of debt reforms after the pullout of moderate leftist party Democratic Left, which cut down the coalition's parliamentary majority to just three deputies.

Fears of an early election have dissipated after the coalition's socialist partners said they would continue to support the embattled government.

“No one wants elections right now... we will do our full (four-year) term,” Samaras said in a televised address late on Thursday.

Just over a year after coming to power, the conservatives will now stick it out with the socialists of Evangelos Venizelos, the former finance minister who brokered Greece's debt cutback in 2012.

A reshuffle that will bring several socialists into the government - including Venizelos himself, according to reports - is expected by Tuesday.

“The reshuffle is a matter of days or even hours,” said Ethnos daily, adding: “Its mission will be anything but easy.”

A number of unpopular measures lie ahead, including mass civil service layoffs, state asset sales and possibly new taxes next year.

Political observers note that Samaras drew some harsh lessons last week after trying to strong-arm his allies, who already faced pressure from their own parties over the austerity reforms needed to maintain access to EU-IMF bailout loans.

In May, the conservatives backtracked over an anti-racism bill which the socialists and moderate leftists strongly championed, causing a serious rift in the government.

Samaras - who takes a stronger stance on undocumented immigration than his coalition partners - also wanted to toughen naturalisation requirements for migrants against the wishes of his allies.

And the last straw was Samaras' shutdown of state broadcaster ERT on June 11 despite warnings from socialists Pasok and the Democratic Left that they would not support such a controversial measure.

“Samaras must abandon any desire to govern unilaterally,” the top-selling Ta Nea daily said on Saturday.

“Any repeat of the ERT handling would have disastrous consequences,” the centre-left newspaper warned.

ERT staff have been holding sit-ins at company offices for nearly two weeks to protest against the shutdown, which cost nearly 2,700 jobs.

The government has called on them to vacate the premises but the ERT union refuses to budge. -Sapa-AFP