CoS TV law ruling: Government and parties’ reactions

Greek government to bring new amendment on TV stations, while opposition parties call for early elections

The bombshell ruling by Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, the Council of State (CoS), against the constitutionality of the TV law passed by the Greek government portents serious developments in the domestic political system, with opposition parties calling for early elections and the government harshly criticising the court’s decision.

The Greek government reacted to the decision late Wednesday by blasting the CoS and underlining that the TV stations would operate with temporary certificates. Government spokesperson Olga Gerovasili stated the decision would be respected, adding however, that it was an unfair one, while Minister of State Nikos Pappas, who had drawn up the law, echoed his colleague’s sentiments speaking to state broadcaster ERT. He claimed that governments are not overthrown by court decisions, announcing there would be a new amendment submitted in parliament on Monday that would act as a “bridge” in order for provide the legal framework for the TV stations to operate in harmony with the new court decision.

Major opposition party New Democracy (ND) released a statement calling for PM Alexis Tsipras to resign and call snap elections, while the leader of PASOK, Fofi Genimata said the state of justice had prevailed, calling for the removal of Minister of State Nikos Pappas. ND believes after the CoS decision to strike down the TV law, SYRIZA is under immense pressure and Tsipras has lost the political initiative. The official statement released stressed that the party had been vindicated on its stance regarding the TV law. “His (Tsipras) departure from power and calling early elections is today more than ever imperative”, the statement concluded. To Potami party issued a statement pointing out it had warned the Pappas, while the Union Centrist’s party said the mistake by Pappas was “fatal”. The 5th extended plenary session of the CoS on the TV law lasted for 5 and a half hours and the 14 judges voted for the Pappas law as unconstitutional against 11 who deemed it as constitutional.