Spanish government to rethink RTVE funding
13.57 Europe/London, January 4, 2012 By Robert Briel
Following budget cuts of €200 million, the Spanish government has said it is now reviewing the financial situation of the state broadcaster RTVE.
The situation of the broadcaster is ‘serious’ and the government is considering re-introducing selling commercial airtime as a serious option.
The current model of financing the broadcaster was introduced by the former socialist government and is based an a special tax of 0.9% slapped on the turnover of telecom companies and private broadcasters. This type of tax, which Spain introduced after France pioneered the idea, has come under heavy criticism from Brussels.
The new Secretary of State for Telecommunications, Victor Calvo-Sotelo, has said there is a serious problem for RTVE, which sees its €1,200 million budget hit by a 20% cut. At the same time, part of its income is questioned by the European Commission.
“The financing of RTVE that was launched by the previous government is a problem that is on the table and must be studied not only from the area of financing of television itself but also in affecting our industry,” Calvo-Sotelo told Spanish press.
In March last year the Commission decided to bring its case against the telecoms tax, both in Spain and France, before the Court of Justice in Luxembourg.