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GreekReporter.comGreeceGreece's Council of State to Rule on Television Licensing on Wednesday

Greece's Council of State to Rule on Television Licensing on Wednesday

council of stateThe Council of State meeting on Monday ended without a decision on whether the bill on broadcast licensing is in line with the Constitution, and will reconvene on Wednesday.
The judges of Greece’s highest administration court met for over three hours to hear the legal representatives of six television stations that have challenged the auction, as well as the position of the government, without, however, being able to reach a conclusion.
The session took place amidst recent media reports casting aspersions over one of the Council’s high-ranking officials and a decision by the Justice Ministry to launch a probe into the allegations regarding the court vice-president’s personal life.
At the same time, a fierce political battle surrounds the crucial Council of State meeting, as the rule, expected on Wednesday, will symbolize a political defeat of the government or the opposition.
Dominating Monday’s talks was the question of whether State Minister Nikos Pappas has the authority to conduct the auction of broadcasting licenses instead of the National Council of Radio and Television (ESR), which is currently disbanded.
If the Council of State rules that the ESR is the only authority to issue broadcasting licenses, new regulations will have to be drawn up and September’s tender may be nullified. That would be a defeat for the leftist government that claims that the money received from the auction will go to welfare programs.
If the court decides that the Pappas bill is Constitutional, the stations that did not secure one of the four licenses will be forced to shut down once the state minister issues the decision. At the same time, the closing of the stations without a license will symbolize a political defeat for main opposition New Democracy. The conservative party has been accused by the government of protecting the interests of media owners who will be forced to shut down their stations.

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