Miloslava Zemková, the interim director of the new public-service broadcaster Radio and Television Slovakia (RTVS), says it has inherited a debt of €43 million. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, January 11, she added that Slovak Radio (SRo) – of which she was formerly director – did not contribute any of the debt.

According to Zemková, RTVS is not able to cover the debt from its own resources, so the public-service broadcaster will have to ask the Culture Ministry for special assistance. In addition, RTVS is under threat of property seizures amounting to almost €6 million. RTVS is now trying to save as much money as possible via a makeshift budget and other measures.

Zemková did not rule out running as a candidate for the job of permanent director of RTVS, but would not confirm this either.

An agreement on the purchase of the broadcasting rights for the World Ice Hockey Championship signed by former Slovak Television (STV) head Štefan Nižňanský shortly before his departure will be honoured by RTVS, said Zemková, adding that the contract will be published within a few days. Interim head of television Ľuboš Machaj said that he regards the agreement of such a contract by the outgoing management as abnormal, the TASR newswire reported. However, he concluded that the contract had to be honoured. Four purchasing contracts, worth €1.6 million, have been cancelled since the merger of STV and SRo to create RTVS on January 1.

Zemková also confirmed that negotiations are taking place concerning changes in the appendix to RSTV’s agreement with the state, so that most of the money that may in future be allocated by the state to RTVS in the form of financial assistance would be used within the television service and not passed on to external companies.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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