Provincial public broadcaster in financial trouble

The Radio-Television of Vojvodina (RTV) has announced it will "continue the continuity" of its work, despite facing the most difficult financial circumstances.

Source: Beta, Danas, Tanjug, VIP

The media outlet reacted to reports that it would stop broadcasting on September 1 by issuing a statement, that said its staff was making "the utmost effort" to maintain the continuity of broadcasting of its television and radio programs according to plan.

"Bearing in mind that the revenue obtained through subscription fees almost dried up during August, the RTV management expects the Serbian government to, in the shortest term, secure a solution that will enable us to produce our program under the same conditions as the Radio-Television of Serbia (RTS)," the statement said.

On Friday, the Belgrade-based daily Danas reported that RTV would stop broadcasting due to financial problems.

The newspaper quoted sources from the public broadcasting service of the province of Vojvodina.

According to the source, only the news program would remain, while all other projects would be suspended because there will be no more production of the program.

"The situation in RTV is dramatic because there are no funds for salaries, fees or travel expenses; there is no money even for gasoline for going to the shooting. RTV owes three salaries to employees, while the debt to suppliers has reached fantastic eight million EUR. The debt includes unpaid bills for electricity, water, rental of premises, film contracts… Serious dissatisfaction of the EU institutions dealing with media freedom presents an additional problem for the authorities in Serbia. The EU concerns primarily refer to the fact that all the programs in minority languages, ten of them, will also be abolished at RTV," the article read.

"The EU institutions are additionally alarmed by the announcement that TV subscription would be abolished and the public services – RTS and RTV - would be transferred to the state budget, which EU strongly criticizes," said Danas.

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