Digital Policy Minister to provide free satellite access to Greek TV for Thrace Muslim minority

Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media Minister Nikos Pappas on Thursday signed a decision that provides free satellite access to Greece’s nationally broadcasting television stations to the minority populations in Thrace.

The new programme “Subsidised Satellite Access of Thrace Minority Populations to Greek Free Reception Television Stations” is expected to cover the needs of 120,000 Greek citizens that belong to Muslim minorities in Evros, Xanthi and Rodopi.

The programme will allow each beneficiary to select the provider and programme of his or her choosing, with the cost covered by the state.

This is expected to reach 3.72 million euros in total, with the subsidy covering the supply of the necessary equipment (satellite dish and decoder, cables and accessories) and, where necessary, its installation. The providers will also be obliged to provide the beneficiaries access to the all programmes provided by Greek television stations freely broadcast nationwide, without any charge or time restraint.

Pappas said the action will help familiarize minority populations with rapidly evolving satellite technologies and services and reduce the “digital gap” between Greek citizens in various parts of the country, enabling all citizens to equally partake in the information society.

He said it was a top priority action for the ministry, since the frequency maps drawn up by previous governments had left out large sections of the population in three prefectures and, as a result of these choices, they were denied free access to Greek television stations.