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Foreign Media Views CoS TV License Decision as Blow to Greek Government

The international media focused on the blow received by Greece’s media after the Council of State, a top court in Greece, annulled the auction of broadcasting licenses that was held in September. The law that the SYRIZA government had said would be a clampdown on media quality was viewed as unconstitutional by judges late on Wednesday. The verdict caught the attention of the international press.
Reuters reported that the government had been “dealt a blow” by the decision. “The Council of State, which examines the legality of official acts, on Wednesday ruled that the auction process had been unconstitutional as it had not been supervised by the National Council for Radio and Television (ESR). But the ESR is currently understaffed after the government forced its members to resign and Tsipras’ party SYRIZA and the opposition New Democracy failed to agree on new appointments, usually made by parliament.”
The Associated Press reported on the incident in an article, titled “After High Court Defeat, Greek Government Criticizes Judges.” The newspaper stated that the left-led government “pledged to honor the high court rejection of its attempted shakeup, but its strong criticism of the ruling has drawn a sharp rebuke from the judiciary.”
The Wall Street Journal wrote that “Greece’s ruling Syriza party vowed on Thursday to continue fighting for its radical agenda after judges struck down its plan to revamp Greece’s media sector, the culmination of a week-long power struggle that produced allegations of blackmail and “fascist” methods.”
On its part, the New York Times’ report examined the “spat” that the auction had caused …Tsipras had made the auction the centerpiece of his reforms. He argued it would sever a corrupt relationship between traditionally powerful political parties and industrialists who used media ownership to seek lucrative state contracts — a relationship the government said created decades of financial mismanagement and was a cause of Greece’s crippling financial crisis.

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