Ex-PMs fail to back law on interim digital TV licenses

Two former prime ministers of Greece, George Papandreou (photo) and Costas Karamanlis, failed to back a draft law that allows TV channels to continue digital broadcasts until the government has handed out the proper licenses for such transmissions.

Karamanlis was absent from the vote, which took place late on Tuesday, while Papandreou voted against the bill along with another PASOK MP, Apostolos Kaklamanis. The legislation passed with the support of just 154 of 300 deputies.

This means TV channels will be allowed to continue to broadcast digitally until the end of next year, by which time the government will have had to issue the proper licenses for such transmissions.

Opposition parties, which voted against the bill, accused the government of trying to avoid a transparent licensing process and give existing channels permits through the back door.

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