Controversial winner of TV license auction faces disqualification

TAGS: Media, Politics

One of the four winners of a recent auction for nationwide television licenses, Yiannis Kalogritsas, on Monday sought an extension of 48 hours to pay the first tranche of the fee for the license, a request that was rejected by the Media Ministry, potentially paving the way for his disqualification and replacement by a runner-up in the competition.

Kalogritas's company has until 7 p.m. on Monday to submit the first tranche of the fee before he is disqualified. If so, he will likely be replaced by Ivan Savvidis, the Greek-Russian businessman who made the next highest bid in the auction.

The other three licenses went to Skai and Antenna channels and a new channel called Alter Ego belonging to shipowner and owner of Olympiakos soccer club Vangelis Marinakis.

The Kalogritsas family is already tied to controversy as it has been extended millions of euros in loans by state lender Attica Bank despite its companies being deemed to have a relatively low credit rating.