GREECE / The broadcasting reform not validated by the Council of State

On October 26th the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, delivered its judgement on whether the broadcasting reforms initiated by Alexis Tsipras’ government are constitutional.

Le Ministre d'Etat Nikos Pappas, porteur de la réforme de l'audiovisuel en Grèce

Nikos Pappas

Referred to the Council as a last resort by private television channels, the judges invalidated by a narrow majority (14 to 11) the reform which allowed the government to auction broadcasting licenses for private channels as it had in early September, raising €246 million.

According to someone present during the deliberations and quoted by the Financial Times, the judges felt that “only the broadcasting regulator, not the government, is responsible for licensing commercial TV stations.

The government was quick to respond by saying that a new bill in keeping with the State Council’s decision, was being prepared and would be presented on October 30th to set up a new system of license allocation. The Minister of State Nikos Pappas, instigator of the reform, however, regretted the Council’s decision, which he called “limiting” and “unfair”.

Private channels, including those which don’t have a license and are thus threatened with closure, remain in the dark as they wait for the publication of the State Council’s decision, which should be given on October 30th at the earliest.

Sources: France 24, Financial Times, Tribune de Genève


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