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Culture Ministry wants to improve TASR state news wire

THE CULTURE Ministry has said that the revenues of the TASR state news agency, which ended 2005 in the red again, continued to decrease last year.

The news agency lost Sk7 million in 2005. TASR's revenues from its core business amounted to Sk106 million, including Sk45 million in state budget subsidies, the SITA news wire wrote.

TASR receives 40 percent of the funding it needs to run the agency from state coffers, and covers 60 percent from its own operations.

Due to increasing competition on the media market, TASR lost some significant subscribers last year, TASR Director Peter Nedavaška said.

The departure of some commercial tenants due to construction work at the nearby Pribinova zone also hurt the agency financially.

Culture Ministry media section head Zuzana Mistríkova said only a new law on
the state news agency could solve its problems.

The Antitrust Bureau council fined the Culture Ministry Sk200,000 on March 24 for violating competition law by giving TASR public funds to be used in a competitive environment, which distorted the market and impaired competition.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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