On Wednesday, December 15, Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič vetoed a law merging public-service Slovak Television (STV) and Slovak Radio (SRo) that was recently approved by parliament, the TASR newswire wrote, but parliament overrode the veto.
The proposal to merge STV and SRo into a new public broadcaster called Radio and Television Slovakia (RTS) was backed by 77 MPs at a parliamentary session on November 30. The initiative, submitted by Culture Minister Daniel Krajcer (SaS), is designed to resolve the financial woes plaguing STV in particular, and to boost the quality of programmes aired by both media. A new RTS chief will be tasked with consolidating broadcasting and preparing conditions for running the institution as of 2012. As of the beginning of that year, the broadcaster will receive a single allocation from the state budget. Licence fees will be abolished.
With 80 yea votes, Parliament overrode Gašparovič's veto. The new broadcaster's name will be Radio Television Slovakia (RTS). The law was passed again by the coalition MPs plus two opposition MPs. Raising a total of 15 comments, the president returned the law to Parliament earlier the same day and lawmakers re-approved it only a couple of hours later.
Among the president's arguments was a concern regarding the salary of the new broadcaster's director, which lawmakers accepted and changed from nine-times the average monthly nominal salary to only four-times - thus reducing it from around €6,700 to around €3,000.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
16. Dec 2010 at 10:00