Lawmaker Vyron Polydoras, the former conservative New Democracy (ND) public order and justice minister of Greece from 2006-2007, in the first cabinet of Kostas Karamanlis is the ruling SYRIZA party’s choice to lead the National Council of Radio and Television (NCRTV), the state media watchdog. The right-wing lawmaker met with leftist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Speaker of Greek Parliament, Nikos Voutsis, at Maximos Mansion, the government’s headquarters, for 45 minutes on Saturday. The three men spoke of the duties that Polydoras would need to undertake according to the Greek Constitution. As head of the NCRTV, he would need to be responsible for the authorization of TV licenses following the cancelation of the government’s auction that was scrapped by the Council of the State judges.
“I think that the proposal offered to me to be president of the Council was a great honor, but mainly a proposal for a duty of responsibility,” said Polydoras. “Reinstating full control to the NCRTV of course includes the organization of a tender for TV licenses.”
Polydoras said that he was personally “not engaging in communications games and did not see a tendency towards communication gimmicks during his meeting with the prime minister and speaker of the house”. “I saw a tendency towards consensus, which is also a condition for my own intervention,” he said.
SYRIZA’s proposal for NCRTV vice-president is Rodolfos Moronis, a writer and former deputy CEO of state broadcaster NERIT.
Sources close to State Minister Nikos Pappas said that the choice of these two figures was to achieve the “broadest possible concensus” in the wake of a Council of State decision rejecting the tender procuedure. “It is self-evident, in the light of the CoS decision that responsibility for holding the tender and the details of how this is held passes directly to the NCRTV, as was originally provided for in law 4339/15,” he pointed out.
Voutsis hopes that the next meeting of leaders of Greek Parliaments would result in an agreement, and he added that he had informed the political parties of the proposal ahead of the meeting. “Immediately after the CoS decision – as was requested by all the political powers at the last Conference of Presidents – I am working to find a broadly accepted consensus solution that will be approved by the 5th meeting of Parliament Presidents,” he said.
Despite government hopes for an agreement, opposition factions reacted negatively to SYRIZA’s choice.