OLaNO-NOVA Submits Proposal on RTVS Funding to Parliament

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OLaNO-NOVA MP Jan Budaj (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, April 10 (TASR) – When a new general director of public broadcaster Radio and Television Slovakia (RTVS) takes up the post in June, RTVS should have a definitive model of funding set for it, stated the Opposition OLaNO-NOVA party at a press conference in Bratislava on Monday.

As a result, OLaNO-NOVA MPs Jozef Viskupic and Jan Budaj have submitted a motion to Parliament in this regard.

Like last year, the latest Opposition-sponsored motion proposes scrapping both licence fees and financing via a contract with the state. It also suggests that RTVS should be financed via a specific percentage of gross domestic product. “In terms of public service media financing we need clarity, we need predictability and we need sufficient funds as well,” said Viskupic about the motion, which is set to be discussed at a parliamentary session in May.

According to Viskupic, the current two ways in which RTVS is financed – via licence fees and a state contract – are unsuitable and non-transparent. He went on to say that the contract with the state is “devilish”, as it’s a way in which politicians can influence the public broadcaster, which is supposed to act independently.

OLaNO-NOVA in its motion proposes that RTVS should annually receive 0.15 percent of GDP from the state budget, which would amount to €117.1 million this year, for example.

The Opposition MPs further stated that their newly submitted proposal on RTVS funding is their response to recent criticism of the public broadcaster on the part of Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) and Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD). According to Budaj, Danko with his statements at the weekend began “an attack on the public-service nature of RTVS”.

Following the SNS party congress in Sliac (Banska Bystrica region) on Saturday (April 8), Danko stated that he wants to cancel all licence fees and to turn RTVS into a state institution again. Moreover, he said during a political discussion on Sunday (April 9) that there’s a need to replace current RTVS director Vaclav Mika.