Political parties once again failed to reconcile their differences in order to appoint a new National Council for Radio and Television

The political parties in Parliament once again failed to reconcile their differences in order to appoint a new National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), in a last-ditch government attempt for an agreement at a Conference of Parliament Presidents meeting on Wednesday.

Parliament President Nikos Voutsis finally went ahead with the vote after the majority of members rejected the opposition parties’ request to postpone but his own proposal for the new NCRTV were rejected, since it did not get the 4/5 majority required to be carried.

Votes in favour were cast only by the ruling coalition parties SYRIZA and Independent Greeks (ANEL), while main opposition New Democracy (ND) and far-right Golden Dawn voted against and the remaining four opposition parties (Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Democratic Alliance, Potami and Union of Centrists) abstained.

Voutsis criticised the request to postpone the vote until after a court ruling on the constitutionality of the media law, on which a television licences tender was based. If the parties had asked for a delay in order to consider the proposal and return better informed, he added, “we would have been obliged to listen” but the work of justice and legislative authority should not be mixed.

“I do not see the reason for an extension in the name of the judicial aspect since, under the Constitution, its is their total obligation to make a decision. Justice, for its own part, makes its decisions and these are respected,” he said. The law had already started to generate legal effects, he noted, and for the political system to postpone and stand by awaiting developments “would send a wrong signal.”