Anger over plans to put just four TV permits to tender


It is expected that the government will submit a decree to Parliament on Thursday allowing it to launch and oversee a tender for four national TV licenses.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced the measure during public comments before a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. The government’s decision to abandon efforts to appoint a board to the National Council for Radio and Television (ESR) and its insistence that only four permits should be issued angered opposition parties and station owners.

The coalition had been unable to agree with the opposition on the board of ESR, which under the Constitution is the independent body responsible for broadcasting matters. Tsipras accused the opposition of intentionally blocking the process and forcing the government to take the matter into its own hands.

New Democracy accused the coalition of using an “unconstitutional” approach by trying to take control of the process. State Minister Nikos Pappas said that there would be an opportunity to debate the constitutionality of the legislation before Thursday’s vote.

PASOK, Potami and the Union of Centrists were also critical of the government’s move. The Association of Private TV Channels (EITISEE) accused the government of performing a “sleight of hand” by basing its decision to launch a tender for just four TV licenses on a study that contains calculations that are incorrect.