Following two failed attempts by the Council of State (CoS) to deliver an initial ruling on the legality of the recent TV licensing procedures, after appeals by TV legal representatives, the extended CoS Plenary is scheduled to convene behind closed doors for a third time at 5pm, Tuesday. The delay has put the Greek government under immense pressure, as it has invested great political capital in the successful outcome of the TV license tender, and is scrambling to speed up the formation of the Greek National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV) in an effort to save face and be prepared in the event the CoS moves past the first three phases of ruling on whether to admit the objections raised; the matter of vested interest on the part of the TV stations who dispute the tender proceedings; and on the substance of their objections. No new legal or procedural matters are expected to be raised during today’s CoS meeting, paving the way for the body to examine the substance of the case and deliver a verdict on the constitutional and legal issues pertaining to the issue raised by the TV stations. Meanwhile, the sudden interruption of the CoS during Monday’s meeting due to the illness of one of its members, Aristovoulos-Georgios Voros, who was admitted to hospital with heart problems, has sparked rumours of an indefinite suspension of the proceedings. Some legal circles said that more procedural issues could be raised during today’s meeting, while other experienced judges did not rule out the possibility of the case going before an audience, an event that would mean returning to square one.
Government tries to save face and prepare for a negative outcome