Media law stifles business, SEV warns

The Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) on Wednesday once again expressed its opposition to the law preventing media owners from bidding for public contracts. «Our feeling is that this particular law will not bring about the expected results, while it will add huge costs to enterprises that are in no way involved in the media but do have transactions with the state and public enterprises,» said SEV Chairman and Executive President Odysseas Kyriakopoulos. «We do not disagree with the government’s aim of hitting at (too-close relationships between businesses and the state) but we remark that it is doing it the wrong way, using old-fashioned methods,» he told reporters, adding that SEV also disagreed with the previous legislation and the provisions to that effect added to the constitution during its latest revision in 2001. Kyriakopoulos said the laws were a «Greek patent» that will hurt competition and he offered his own solution to the problem of «entangled interests.» «A much smaller and flexible state, full competition and no interference at any stage of the tender process and strict penalties for offenders. That is the only way to safeguard the public interest.» «Trust (between businesses and the government) is built slowly and deliberately and can be destroyed very quickly,» Kyriakopoulos added, alluding to the business world’s hostility to the proposed legislation. SEV Vice President Dimitris Daskalopoulos was even more blunt, saying that the issue of entangled interests is not addressed through legislation that acts as impediment to business activity.