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Minister Pappas: Gov’t determined to break “triangle” of corruption between politics, media & banks

Greece’s State Minister responsible for media, Nikos Pappas said that the time has come to break the “triangle” of corruption, which he says exists between politics, banks and the media arguing that transparency is the key to sustainability. He defended the new ruling that overthrows the established system for television channels that have been broadcasting for more than a quarter of a century without license and now will limit nation-wide broadcasters to four.

Speaking to BBC, Pappas said:

“For years, many of our channels have been sustained by their businessmen owners and the profits they make from state contracts or other ventures,. They used their money to prop up channels that were not economically sustainable.

At the same time politicians were happy to do business with these channel owners, because it meant they were never criticised by them. On the contrary, they were portrayed favourably. It is scandalous.”

The minister of state stressed that in the long run such a limit on licenses is the only financially-viable option.

“How can the market, as it is, sustain so many channels? We cannot have so many unsustainable media outlets running and building up debt.”

Opening bids for the 10-year licences start at €3million, the tender is international. Companies bidding must give proof of earnings, be completely transparent in terms of assets and prove they pay their staff.

In the BBC report about the Greek TV landscape, the focus is on once brand name MEGA TV currently at risk to declare bankruptcy due to bank loans estimated  €116million. Journalists and technical staff have been on rolling strikes and work stoppages since a couple of weeks.

“On Tuesday, after going for two months without pay, staff were told the channel’s owner could go bankrupt, shutting down the operation for good.

But at the eleventh hour, shareholders agreed to prop up the company. So for now, at least, the 500 staff are breathing a sigh of relief.”

Here is to note, that right after the shareholders -old shareholders and new investors – decision, the staff launched a 24-hour strike claiming lack of information about due payments of wages and the future of the company.

The BBC report “Greek media upheaval hits Mega TV channel” is definitely worth reading.

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One comment

  1. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    3 million? Crowd-funding for KTG