(Greece) – Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece’s left-wing SYRIZA government, has made it one of his political missions to eliminate, or at least minimize, political corruption in the media. As part of this move, the Greek government decided to award only four stations with a broadcast license, leaving the rest out of the game. A few weeks ago, ten finalist broadcasters engaged in a “closed door” bid that ultimately raised 275 million euros for the Greek government and left several broadcasters out of luck.
Four companies that lost their licenses, as well as two companies who managed to secure one of the four licenses, are filing appeals. Mega, Antenna, Alpha, Skai, Star, and Epsilon were the six broadcasters who appealed to the court and of those, Skai and Antenna won two of the licenses. These companies are asking the court to assess whether or not the government’s move to limit broadcasting in this capacity violates the Greek constitution or not. The appeal was made to Greece’s highest court – The Council of State. It is up to the court to decide of the Greek government’s decision to limit the number of licenses available to networks violates the constitution or not.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had made it one of his political missions to eliminate or at least minimize the widespread political corruption that had been a part of Greek society. His government looks at this move as necessary to clean up the media. Critics of this move say that by limiting the number of licenses available, this means that the government is trying to control the media. Critics are also concerned at the loss of jobs this move could result in since many of the losing stations might need to close. It will be up to the court to decide whether or not the government is within its rights to limit the media in this way.