The TV license dispute between the government and the opposition parties is going strong with a group from the main opposition conservative New Democracy party filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court Prosecutor. Meanwhile, two of the successful bidders paid the first installments.
The New Democracy MPs from the Parliament’s Institutions and Transparency filed lawsuits in complaint against “all parties responsible” in relation to the way in which the tender process was conducted. They say that the committee in charge of the tender violated its role in order to tip the scales in the favor of at least one of the candidates by not investigating his assets thoroughly.
The ND deputies — Makis Voridis, Olga Kefalogianni, Ioannis Tragakis, Konstantinos Tzavaras, Haralambos Athanasiou — point to foul play in the way in which the competition was conducted and they state that it is clear that the economic checks on Christos Kalogritsas as certain documents that, according to the tender, should not have been taken into account. Voridis said that the evidence points to serious negligence, omissions and false certification that should be identified by justice.
The ruling Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) responded to the ND deputies complaint. Their response says that the only thing that ND has yet to do is to appear as an advocate for the channels. The announcement hints at business interests at play. “After the party announcements, do they now take legal action together with businessmen?” asks the announcement, hinting that the interests are the underlying motive for the lodging of legal action. “At this time, and obviously to the great regret of Mitsotakis, public funds are already swallowing the first 40 million euros of the first installment.”
Apart from the deputies, television station Alpha on Friday sued the general secretary for news and communication Lefteris Kretsos and five members of a committee put in charge of checking the wealth statements of companies participating in an auction for four nationwide television broadcasting licenses, recently put out to tender. Alpha’s legal representative, Professor Panos Lazaratos, said that the committee failed to carry out a detailed examination of the wealth statement submitted by the firm Ioannis-Vladimiros H. Kalogritsas before giving their approval. He said all six should be prosecuted for providing false certification, with aggravating circumstances provided for those embezzling state funds. Alpha was among the participants that failed to put in a successful bid for a license in the auction.
First Installments Are Paid
Shortly before noon on Friday, SKAI Group paid its first installment for a TV license valued at 14,533,333 euros. Shipowner Evangelos Marinakis, owner of Alter Ego, also deposited the first amount with the General Secretariat of Information amounting to 24,633,333 euros for the TV license.
War of the Wigs
Centrist Potami Deputy Jason Fotila directed a question to State Minister Nikos Pappas, causing controversy when he said that the government would do well to keep its wigs in reference to an incident that became known as peroukagate (perouka means wig) following the arrest of two journalists that had been tail Pappas in New York allegedly wearing wigs. When Fotila told Pappas that he should keep the wigs for when the government ministers are forced to escape. “It is a shame to use such a wretched event,” said Pappa. “We have parties that are the tail of interests.”