Political feud breaks out between government and New Democracy over TV licensing procedures

31 August 2016
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The Greek government and major opposition party New Democracy are flinging accusations against each other over the procedures of the TV licensing in progress. New Democracy initially ‘kicked off’ the ball by alleging the government was attempting to muzzle the freedom of the press and manipulate the flow of information by adopting an anachronistic and rigid procedure in issuing TV licences through an interview by George Koumoutsakos on Skai TV. ‘The procedures used to issue licences is the definition of conflict of interest’, he claimed.

Government spokesperson Olga Gerovsili reacted by saying the government was holding true to a promise to put order in the chaotic broadcasting scene by closing down some of the old TV stations associated with conflict of interest in the public sphere. New Democracy alleges the whole procedures adopted are extremely authoritarian, asserting they border on being anti-constitutional. The major opposition party says the government plans to manipulate public opinion and is promoting an atmosphere that stifles freedom in the media. New Democracy was quick to abandon its initial stance of not recognising the procedure, as it wants to avoid clashing with the winners of the auction.

The opposition party released a press statement later on Tuesday arguing that the procedure has not yet been ratified by the Council of State (CoS), something that would render the whole procedure null and void, if the law passed, known as the Pappas law, was later struck down by a CoS ruling.

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