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The controversial media law went through parliament

25 October 2015 / 16:10:07  GRReporter
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The draft law on television licences, which triggered a strike by the electronic media, was voted by a majority in parliament. The last day of the debates on it saw some particularly sharp exchanges.

New Democracy demanded a roll-call vote on 35 articles of the draft.

With a broader majority – apart from the parties in power, the Democratic Coalition and Potami also joined the 'yes' vote – articles 11, 12, 14 and 16 got the green light. articles 11 and 12 regulate process matters linked to the licences given by the National Council for Radio and Television. Art. 14 arranges the licence conditions, and Art. 16 -the creation of a joint-stock company related to the national ERT.

The other articles of the bill were voted by the 154 MPs of SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks. Potami's votes were also added when it came to the adoption of art. 21. Articles 41 and 42 received one additional vote each (from Potami's Katerina Markou).

The result of the roll-call vote was as follows:

  • New Democracy voted against the whole bill.
  • Golden Dawn voted against the bill as a whole, but abstained on articles 4, 12, 13 and 16.
  • The Democratic Coalition voted against the bill, with the exception of articles 11, 12, 14 and 16, which it supported.
  • The Communist Party voted against the bill as a whole, but abstained on articles 16, 18, 21, 41, 42 and 43.
  • Potami voted against the bill, but endorsed articles 11, 12, 14, 16 and 21. MP Katerina Markou stood up for articles 41 and 42 as well.
  • The Union of centrists voted against the bill as a whole, with the exception of articles 2, 11 and 13.

Sharp exchanges during the debates

During the plenary session, the opposition parties with no exception slammed the state minister Nikos Pappas. According to MegaTV, lawmakers qualified the draft's provisions as unconstitutional and also flying in the face of European law. They labelled Papas as 'super-minister' and 'media owner minister' in reference to some of the draft's clauses. Some MPs went vitriolic over the new 'cosy seats', which the government is allegedly making ready in the media field, as well as over the introduction of a blackmail regime for the existing media.

The bill has also been subject to serious criticism from without as well: the European association of private media owners held out against it. The association said its provisions are incompatible with European Union law, and stifle pluralism in the field of information with regard to private media.

Tags: bill television licenses media ERT Parliament
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