Greek State Council Examines Legality of TV License Auction on Wednesday and Friday



council of state

The Greek State Council, the highest administrative court of the country, is set to convene on Wednesday and Friday to review the constitutionality of the recent competition that the government had carried out to limit the number of national television broadcasters to four. After suspended deliberations the legality of the tender for four national television license permits from seven will be considered.

The previous meeting had been cancelled by State Council President Nikos Sakellariou, a controversial decision that caused two of the court’s members to tender their resignation. The same court has already turned down appeals by several TV channels against the tender. The resigned members alleged that the meeting had been cancelled as a result of interference by the ruling leftist SYRIZA party that ordered the auction.

There were plenty of theatrics when the tender process took place with high-ranking businessmen locked behind closed doors for three days and nights. One of the bidders whose family is believed to have links with SYRIZA withdrew following his success in the auction because he couldn’t come up with the money. Another bidder, shipping magnate/Olympiacos football team owner Evangelos Marinakis is out on bail on felony charges for match-fixing but was still able to take part in the auction.

The real losers, however, are the employees that will be out of jobs when their channels are forced to close down.