Rusko sees no need for more TV stations

PAVOL Rusko, head of the ruling coalition's Citizen's New Alliance (Ano) party and a founder of the country's most popular TV station Markíza, has said Slovakia needs only two television broadcasters - a public and a private one.

Concerns over Rusko's influence in media legislation have grown since it was announced that Ano's Rudolf Chmel was to be the next Culture Minister, a position with a lot of influence on media legislation.

Rusko, however, has denied that any abuse of the position would take place. "There are so many checks and balances that the idea of abuse is complete nonsense," Rusko said. However, he has claimed that Slovakia should practice the so-called dual model of TV broadcasting because "the market is not big enough to allow quality public and private broadcasters and several other private TV stations."

"If Rusko was saying this as head of a private TV station, I wouldn't comment on it. But he's saying it as a politician and I consider that to be very dangerous," said Martin Lengyel, head of Slovak news TV channel TA3.

"It's in conflict with the liberal theses of Ano's party program," he added.

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