Government backs down from plans for interim law on TV licenses

Parliamentary Council of Presidents fails to reach consent on new NCRTV body

The Greek government has backed down from its plans to introduce an interim bill that would allow TV stations to operate with temporary licenses, following opposition party New Democracy’s (ND) refusal to consent on the formation of the new National Council of Radio and Television (NCRTV) during the Parliamentary Council of Presidents session, Monday. The new failure -the fifth in a row- of the Council of Presidents to reach agreement on the formation of the new independent media watchdog means any developments on the licensing of the television stations will be suspended until the end of the year. The government reached the decision to scrap its plans for an interim TV license bill in an emergency cabinet meeting following the fall through of the Council of Presidents, while it was decided that a 6th session of the parliamentary body would be convened soon with the same proposals for the post of the NCRTV’s president, among which is former Minister and MP of ND, Vyron Polydoras, who the major opposition conservative party has rejected. ND insists that it will give its consent for the setting up of the new NCRTV only under the condition that the legal framework on the media landscape reverts to its prior state and all powers are transferred to the NCRTV. Minister of State Nikos Pappas, who authored the controversial TV law, has made it clear that he would amend the law after the official reasoning behind the ruling of the country’s supreme administrative court on the abolition of his law is made public, which according to Presidemt of the Supreme Court, Nikos Sakellaripu could take up to one month. Until that time, the government will introduce an amendment scraping article 2A of the Pappas Law, which was judged as unconstitutional by the Council of State (CoS).