ATHENS – With Greek musicians unable to perform live during two COVID-19 lockdowns, the major opposition SYRIZA has filed a bill – unlikely to pass – requiring radio stations to devote at least 40 percent of air time to Greek music to drive royalties to performers left without an income.
The New Democracy government, while providing subsidies to people laid off during two lockdowns, hasn’t done the same for artists and performers, with concerts barred at the same time venues had been open for other events.
The measure would mandate private radio stations to abide by what would be a state order telling them what music to play to provide monies to Greek performers through the Organization of Collective Management for music artists.
The leftist party, ousted in July 7, 2019 snap elections by New Democracy, said it made the move because live performances and concerts haven’t been able to be performed almost all year and the ban will extend likely deep into 2021.
The amendment makes no distinction between music stations and all-news, all-talk providers, or even the type of music a station plays or even a station's ownership composition, the business newspaper Naftemporiki said.
That means if the measure passed that the Metropolis of Piraeus' ecclesiastical radio station would be forced to play music during 40 percent of its program – ostensibly Christian Orthodox themed, but only by Greek artists. The same would apply to municipalities' radio stations too.
The amendment was tabled as a rider to a Culture Ministry-related draft bill, a day after another SYRIZA draft amendment was hastily withdrawn after it proposed to give law enforcement officers a one-month bonus, the report also said.