(Greece) – According to Nikos Dendias, a spokesperson for the Greek Parliament, New Democracy, the opposition party to the current SYRIZA government, has said that they will overturn the Greek TV license sales if they come into power. Currently, the matter is at the Council of State, which is Greece’s highest court. If they sanction the sale, the conservative opposition party has said they will overturn them. Currently, the New Democracy party has a 12.5% lead in the polls. However, this is only an issue if Greece will host early elections. Otherwise, SYRIZA is scheduled to stay in power for the next three years.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said that these licensing are necessary to help combat the corruption that has been part of the television industry in the past. The auctions cut the number of private states that Greece has from seven to four. Although the court hasn’t issued an injunction to stop this process, they are reviewing the proceedings to make sure the auctions don’t violate Greece’s constitution.
The elections process is over and the four licenses were awarded. However, one of the winners, Tiannis Kalogritsas, has already withdrawn his bid because he was unable to come up with the money.Greek-Russian businessman Ivan Savvidis has obtained the license that was originally awarded to Kalogritsas. Evagelis Marinakis, owner of the Olympiakos football team, is also a bid winner and is currently out of jail on bail while facing felony charges of match-fixing.
Dendias has said that even if the court sanctions the elections, they will still abolish it. He has said, “Our position does not change. Even if the State of Council does not cancel the tender – which is highly unlikely – the law on TV licenses will be abolished.
Meanwhile, The Council of State ended its discussions on the matter on September 30, 2016 because clashes between the jurists became heated. There are reports that some were attempting to influence the court. The president of the court, Nikos Sakellariou, ended the session, “ecause of efforts to create a certain climate in recent days, through public statements and declarations, ahead of the outcome of the plenary session meeting.” He indicated that there were people present who were trying to influence the court’s verdict.