Pappas withdraws amendment on TV station closures under opposition fire


State Minister Nikos Pappas has come under attack from the opposition after submitting and then withdrawing draft legislation late on Friday that would have forced TV channels which did not gain a license during the recent auction to close within five days of a ministerial decision on the matter.

The amendment was swiftly withdrawn amid heavy criticism, given that the Council of State has yet to issue its decision on whether the licensing process was constitutional. Pappas said that following a conversation with Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis, who is also a SYRIZA MP, the government decided that any legislation would be tabled after efforts to form a new board at the broadcasting watchdog, the National Council for Radio and Television (ESR).

New Democracy described the amendment as “another authoritarian act” from the government. PASOK MP Andreas Loverdos accused Pappas of “fascism.”