Parliament approves return of money to media owners from cancelled TV licensing auction

The parliament plenum voted by majority on Wednesday an amendment which specifies the conditions for the return by the State of the money paid by media owners after the botched TV licensing tender.

The amendment, submitted by State Minister Nikos Pappas, states that claimants do not have to provide a tax clearance to collect the amount paid but that may be withheld or offset automatically with overdue debts to the taxman of social security funds.

Amounts already withheld for overdue debts to the State will not be returned, the amendment says.
The tender was annulled by the Supreme Court in October 2016, which ruled that the law on which the auctioning of broadcasting licenses was based on violated an article of the constitution which stated that any licensing must be done by the country’s independent regulator.

Opposition parties approved the amendment with the exception of Golden Dawn, with New Democracy describing it as “the last act” of Pappas’ “personal Waterloo” and the Democratic Coalition saying the government is exposed.