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Gov’t to fund TV stations with €6.8mln taxpayers money due to “Ukraine War”

The Greek government will fund TV stations with an amount of 6.8 million euros in total for financial losses due to the war in Ukraine, so the official version.

Beneficiaries are the seven TV station broadcasting nationwide with: Star Channel: 1,175,000 Open: 400,926 ΑΝΤ1: 1,878,000 Alpha: 1,304,000 ΣΚΑΪ: 1,045.000 Mega: 957,240

However, the generosity of the New Democracy government with taxpayers’ money seems to be rather a “thank you for your support all these years and the elections ahead” as the total amount is equivalent to debts of TV stations to the social security fund EDOEAP, journalists have found out.

According to datajournalists.co.uk, the government has decided to exempt the seven nationwide channels from paying their employees’ contributions to their insurance carrier, EDOEAP for the past year (2022), news websites libre.gr reported.

The decision for the financial support was announced on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, from the Presidency of the Government and the General Secretariat of Communication and Information, the Greek public will bear the cost of 6.8 million euros to the EDOEAP which burdens the specific companies.

The reason that led the government to this decision is “the fact that the above businesses were particularly affected during the recent economic disruption caused by the Russian attack on Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by the EU and international partners, as well as of the countermeasures taken.”

The reasons for the ministerial decision state:

  • “The need for financial support for free-to-air terrestrial digital television broadcasting content providers as they promote pluralism and quality in public debate”.
  • “The need to support the workers employed in the above businesses, to maintain existing jobs and to prevent the deterioration of the working environment in the above field of economic activity, due to the particular conditions shaped by the energy crisis caused by the invasion of of Russia in Ukraine.”

The government’s commitment to private channels was formulated in a pre-election gazette on April 21, 2023 and implemented on October 24.media reported.

Worth noting is that the specific decision only concerns the specific television stations (Mega, Alpha, SKAI, Open, Star, ANT1, Macedonia TV), i.e. not all of the country’s print and electronic media and certainly not all of the private enterprises of all sectors.

PS “the pluralism” the government states has been a non-stop hailing of every government statement and measure without objection or critical approach since summer 2019. Something that pushed Greece to the 107. position of the World Press Freedom Index in 2023, the worst for a European country.

BTW the “War in Ukraine” official justification reminds the closure of main avenues in downtown Athens “due to Covid-19” as it was officially tabled by Athens mayor Kostas Bakoyiannis for this failed project “The Great Athens Walk.” An excuse that courts rule dit was “Covid irrelevant.”

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