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TV auction mess causes Greek political crisis

Greece – not for the first time – is again in political crisis, although this time it is the auction of 4 television channels which has created considerable pain for the country’s fragile parliament.

On November 3rd Greece’s parliament said it was now looking to annul a law that saw a transfer of control over the broadcasting auction from the National Broadcasting Council (ESR) to minister of state Nikos Pappas. Pappas is recognised as being close politically and personally to Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

This is a direct about-turn from the government, and is seen locally as being a precursor to a Cabinet re-shuffle expected next week.

However, the end-result is that the ESR is expected to be back in control of the auction process and a meeting is scheduled for November 7th and thus paving the way for a re-run of the TV auction process.  The parliament’s Speaker has reportedly said the November 7th meeting of the ESR is necessary in order to break a deadlock between the nation’s key political parties.

Re-establishing the authority of the ESR is Step 1 in what will then be a process to re-advertise the auction process for the four channels available.

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