To fight corruption, Greece holds auction for 4 TV channels

State regulators in Greece have launched an auction for four private national television licenses, reducing the number from seven after a heated public debate on corruption in the financially troubled country.

Eight bidders are involved in the process that started Tuesday and would see eliminated TV stations close by the end of the year. Private Mega Television was excluded last month due to financial difficulties.

Greece's left-wing government argues the process to grant 10-year licenses is long overdue. It replaces a system based on short-term renewals that it argues fosters corrupt arrangements between businesses and political parties.

The opposition conservatives accuse Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government of market interference and attempting to exert state influence over private news media.

The results of the auction are expected late Wednesday.