Greek Lawmakers Head Towards New Deadlock in TV Watchdog (NCRTV) Debacle


The controversial TV licensing law was amended by the government on Thursday. The change now stipulates that the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV) is required to give its agreement when determining the starting bids for broadcasting licenses auctioned off.

The make-up of the NCRTV, however, continues to be a contentious issue as Greek lawmakers head to a new impasse following the leftist SYRIZA government’s refusal to accept the main opposition conservative ND party’s request for the term “abolish” rather than “suspend” to be worded in the amendment. The opposition argues that the bill cannot possibly be merely “suspended” at a time when the Council of State (CoS) has already voted against it. The disagreement currently prevents party consensus.

The only parties that converged regarding the amendment were SYRIZA, its junior partner Independent Greeks (ANEL), and the Democratic Alliance, even though the latter was asking for the wording to be changed until the voting began. The ND party, centrist Potami (River), ultranationalist Golden Dawn (GD), the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and the Union of Centrists voted “present.”

The ND voted against another two amendments related to the NCRTV, even though the government passed these through as signs of goodwill on its part. The Democratic Alliance and Potami party voted in favor of these.

Attention is now cast to the conference of Greek Parliament’s Presidents on Monday, the sixth meeting, following a futile voting process that was three votes short of reaching agreement on the consolidation of the NCRTV.