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SNS flexing its muscles over public broadcaster

The Slovak Nationalist Party is blocking an increase in fees by the public service, RTVS.

Andrej Danko(Source: SITA)

Since the March 2016 election, the public-service RTVS has been in the crosshairs of the nationalist Slovak National Party (SNS). Its politicians gripe about the language skills of its journalists, the broadcaster’s logo, and refuse to approve increased funding for the broadcaster. Now they are focusing on a recent scandal concerning leaked, alleged communication between RTVS employees and MP Gábor Grendel.

Businessman Marián Kočner, who has been involved in several criminal cases and whose name has appeared on leaked so-called ‘mafia lists’, held a press conference on October 19 informing the public about a website containing private and friendly communication between Grendel and several journalists. Four of them work for RTVS including head of the news department Lukáš Diko who, according to leaked messages, discussed with Grendel the content of news.

Subsequently, parliamentary Defense and Security Committee chairman Anton Hrnko of SNS wrote an open letter to RTVS general director Václav Mika, and stated that he wants to initiate an extraordinary session of the parliamentary committee for supervising the activities of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS), at which Hrnko wants to question committee head Grendel of the opposition party, Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO).

“If I would be in SNS shoes I would be glad because this would play into my hands,” media analyst and Hlohovec Mayor Miroslav Kollár told the Slovak Spectator.

“However, I would expect that MPs of the [coalition parties] Sieť and Most-Híd would be much louder on such important issues as defence of RTVS' independence.”

Read also:RTVS head, Mika, refuses outside meddling with the news’ contents

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