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Greek gov’t to put an end in TV-frequencies “anarchy” and demands €40mln in outstanding debts from TV-channels

After 26 years of “anarchy” in the landscape of radio- and television-frequencies and loophole in the existing legislation, the new Greek government opens the big chapter of the legal use of frequencies.

At first stage the government demands the payment of outstanding debts of 40 million euro in total for the last four years. The second stage will be to launch  an organized licensing process.

These initiatives are expected to launch a war between the government and the mainstream media with the majority of them being deep indebted to the banks. Not that the relations between SYRIZA and the mainstream media were at their best…

On Thursday, Minister of State responsible for the media, Nikos Pappas, published a list of the tax debts of nationwide and pay TV channels for the use of frequencies. The tax is 2% of the companies turnover.

€24 million are to be paid by nine television channels broadcasting nationwide: ANTENNA, MEGA, STAR, ALPHA, SKAI, MAKEDONIA TV, CITY NEWS, CHANNEL 9, 902 LEFT (former owner Communist party KKE).

€16 million by the two pay TV channels (OTE TV, Forthnet)

The rest of the smaller free-to-air channels owe less money.

The tax has not been collected since 2011.

However, the television channels are not willing to pay claiming:

“The stations believe they should not pay this amount as political parties have over the last few years taken advantage of a 2002 law to run campaign ads on TV for no charge, which means that the tax dues have been offset against this free airtime.”

So? We had elections in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014? Did the Greek TV channels used to pay the tax in the years between 2002-2010? Did they use to pay the tax before 2002?

I have no idea and I’m kind of much too busy to do some more research on the issue. Nevertheless, some Greeks see in this initiatives a first step to break the intermingling of politics and media.

Already some TV-channel let the government know that overhauling of the frequencies process would damages work places.

the list of what each TV channel owes is here

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  1. The winds of change (Syriza and its voters) are finally changing how things used to be run in Greece. TV and other mass media organisations should respect all licencing laws and promptly pay to the government what the government is due. Also, the re-instatement of ERT the previous state broadcaster and its owrkforce is a welcome first step. The abolishment of ERT was crass interference by (Samaras) Nea Demokratia because ERT would not go along with the tune Samaras and his allies (Troika and the 1%) were singing. Radical changes are needed within the media industry, particularly patterns of ownership and influence between and within TV, radio and the press barons. Clearly, these very forces worked tirelessly for the interests of the Troika against the majority of Greek people.

  2. Look who are the ownwers of the MEGA, Star etc.
    Yes the owners are the Greek full of Money People!!!!
    George Bobolas,Yannis Costopoulos,Vardis Vardinogiannis,Vardis Vardinogiannis,Spiros Latsis,Angelopoulos and a few others!
    They worked with the “old clan” politicans!
    free time to speek and do not pay for it, but do not speek agains my interests and have a nice holyday on my yacht!
    this is(it is still there) and was a big kind of fakelaki!
    we will see how the “new” politicans are at the end!