During a tense meeting of Greek Parliament’s presidents, chaired by Parliament President Nikos Voutsis, the ruling party withdrew the proposal for former main opposition New Democracy party minister Vyronas Polydoras to head the National Council of Radio and Television (NCRTV). The long meeting included a short recess to reshuffle the proposed candidates for the NCRTV board that would act as the country’s independent TV regulator. Once these were finalized a roll-call vote took place.
During the voting process: 16 voted in favor, 1 voted against, 6 voted present and 1 abstained from the voting. The vote proved fruitless as 19 votes — 4/5 of the meeting — were required for the NCRTV make-up to be pushed through.
Earlier, Voutsis proposed Rodolfos Moronis for president, following the cancellation of Polydoras’ candidacy for the helm of the TV watchdog. Moronis, a writer and former vice-president of state broadcaster NERIT, had initially been proposed as vice-president. Voutsis then called for Vasilis Moulopoulos to act as vice-president and Popi Diamandakou, Vasilis Karapostolis, Nikos Kiaos, Lilian Mitrou, Dimitra Papadopoulou, Angeliki Sgiora and Ioannis Tzannetakos to be members of the board. According to Voutsis, these candidates were said to have the criteria required for the job, such as knowledge of broadcasting issues.
Finally, it was agreed that Nikos Kiaos should be proposed as vice-president, after a proposal by socialist PASOK party member Andreas Loverdos.
“Suspend” or “Abolish” the previous provisions?
During the debate, there was dissent concerning the terminology of the proposed amendment that would transfer all powers on TV licensing to the TV regulator with the term “suspend” rather than “abolish” being used regarding the previous provisions.
“After a lot of thought and many talks with legal experts, we chose this wording to avoid any claims against the Greek state,” said Voutsis. “The fact that the amendment says ‘suspended’ and not ‘abolished’, doesn’t mean the government reserves its rights in order to allow something else.” He gave his personal guarantees that the government would not backtrack on the issue.
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