Conference of Parliament Presidents votes in new National Council for Radio and Television

The Conference of Parliament Presidents on Thursday finally reached agreement on the new members of the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), voting in favour of the proposed new council with the required four fifths majority. Consensus was reached after the government agreed to main opposition New Democracy’s proposed candidates for the posts of Council chairman and deputy chairman.

“We must proceed to regulate the television scene and the public frequencies at a fitting price. It must be a vehicle for communication with the world and there must be change. We must all help so that the regulation of the television sector has both a price and regulation and control,” Parliament President Nikos Voutsis said before the start of the vote.

He noted that the ruling majority’s acceptance of ND’s proposals for the Council’s chairman should be a “hallmark for the start of operation of the NCRTV” and that deliberations on the membership continued until the last minute “in a climate of consensus”.

The final composition of the Council ratified by the parliament presidents is as follows:

Chairman: Athanassios Koutromanos

Deputy Chairman: Rodolfos Moronis

Members: Popi Diamantakou, Vassilis Karapostolis,

Nikos Kiaos, Giorgos Plios, Lilian Mitrou, Dimitra Papadopoulou, Giorgos Saridakis.

The ruling majority’s proposal was carried by 20 votes in favour, cast by the ruling coalition parties SYRIZA and ANEL, main opposition New Democracy and the opposition Democratic Alliance and Potami parties, and four abstentions from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Golden Dawn and Union of Centrists. It was the sixth, and as Voutsis had warned the last, meeting of the parliament presidents in a bid to reach agreement on the new broadcasting regulator.

The achievement of a consensus at the Conference of Parliament Presidents on Thursday over the new members of the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), is an exceptionally positive moment which will allow the country to organize a TV licensing tender, Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media Ministry Nikos Pappas said on Thirsday, after the Conference selected the board members.

“The achievement of a consensus at the Conference of Presidents is an exceptionally positive moment which delayed more than 10 months, or rather more than 10 years,” he said in a statement, adding the country will now have a TV regulator with legally elected board.

“The road is now open for the tender and the licensing. Nobody argues any more that there should not be a licensing procedure. Nobody argues that [TV stations] shouldn’t pay for broadcasting nationwide. Nobody argues we must continue with the 27-year lawlessness and impunity,” Pappas said, noting that the human resources and technological infrastructure and software, developed during the first tender are at the disposal of the new NCRTV.