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Greek TV auction “unconstitutional”

It is back to square one for the Greek government seeking to auction off four TV permits to broadcast. October 26th saw Greece’s highest court (Council of State) rule that the process contravenes Greece’s Constitution.

The Court ruled that the proper body to administer any broadcasting changes is the country’s National Broadcasting Council – and not the government.

The Court’s judges ruled 14 to 11 in reaching their decision.

The ruling annuls the complete process, including the final auction. This is now complicated – but it is Greece where everything is complicated – by the fact that the four “winners” of the auction have already paid over €255 million, their initial payments under the auction process.

In fairness to the government’s scheme, they were attempting to regularise an already complex situation in that many of the terrestrial broadcasters were not officially licensed. The expectation is now that the auction will be run again, and with the National Broadcasting Council having a role to play.

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