Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Greek court blocks Syriza plan to shut TV channels

by Kerin Hope

Financial Times

October 19, 2016

The Syriza-led government’s plan to exert greater control over local media by limiting the number of nationwide television licences suffered a setback when Greece’s highest court upheld an appeal by six private channels facing imminent closure.

The decision by the 25-member Council of State, made up of the country’s leading judges, came five days before the six channels were due to shut down with the loss of more than 2,000 jobs.

The private channels had argued in their appeal that the decision by the government to shut down their stations was unconstitutional.

The court’s ruling has now opened the way for the council to hold a full discussion on whether a new media law allowing only four nationwide channels to operate in Greece is at odds with the country’s constitution.

Tuesday night’s ruling, which was approved by a 16 to nine majority after hours of fractious argument, is also likely to derail a procedure in which four local bidders were awarded nationwide licences at a closed auction last month for a total price of €246m.


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