Monday deadline for first payment of winning bid by controversial candidate

26 September 2016
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Closing time on Monday of Greece’s tax bureau is the deadline for payment of a first instalment of a television broadcast license by one of four winners in the relevant election auction held by the government roughly four weeks ago.
All eyes are now on local businessman Yiannis Vladimiros Kalogritsas, the son of construction contractor Christos Kalogritsas, who must deposit 18 million euros on Monday. Two out of the four winners of similar licenses, current broadcaster Skai, owned by the Alafouzos shipowning family, and a newly formed company owned by another shipowner, Olympiacos Piraeus FC owner Vangelis Marinakis, have already deposited the first instalments of their respective bids.
Kalogritsas, however, faces numerous questions over his statement of means and assets declaration, his tax returns over previous years and the level of borrowing by companies in the Kalogritsas group, most controlled by his father, from non-systemic Attica Bank.
The opposition and several broadcasters that failed to win one of only four national broadcast licenses – the number set by the government itself and based on a controversial study commissioned and received by a sole institute operating out of an Italian university (Florence) – have directly charged collusion between the Kalogritsas and leftist government. The allegations claim that the embattled Tsipras government was using Kalogritsas as a “front man” in order to finance, acquire and operate a television broadcaster with a “friendlier” stance vis-à-vis the government.

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