The Nationalist Party has filed a complaint with TVM because in last Friday’s episode of Serataron, the Prime Minister’s wife was invited but the Opposition leader’s wife was not.
“Mother’s Day is celebrated once a year… There’s nothing wrong with inviting the Prime Minister’s wife to give her message about Mother’s Day. But balance demands that since she is a political person, the wife of the Opposition leader should also have been invited,” PN spokesman David Thake said in a press conference outside TVM headquarters.
Thake also complained about frequent imbalance on TVM even in the importance given to certain stories, adding that the station was being used for “subtle propaganda” also through so many persons of trust leading public authorities being invited to programmes without any counterbalance.
“The statements they are making are political,” he said, adding that hundreds of people were placed in positions of trust by this government.
Thake said the PN had filed some 30 complaints with the national broadcaster since Robert Abela became Prime Minister.
Asked to comment on the fact that PN lost many of these complaints, Thake said the imbalance was clear to everybody but steered clear of criticising the Broadcasting Authority’s decisions.
Thake also pointed out that the government was giving some €30 million of taxpayer money to the national broadcaster.
Asked if he thought this constituted illegal State aid, he said Minister Carmelo Abela recently replied to his parliamentary questions to say that the government was going through the process of ensuring that the funding does not breach the EU’s State aid rules.
“It’s important that we’re conscious of this possibility and we will be following the case to ensure State aid is not given,” he said.
Thake also called for the Constitution to be respected. Questioned on the fact that the Constitution demands impartiality from all stations, not just TVM, Thake agreed that this is what the Constitution says but said the practice has been to see party stations One and Net as balancing each other out since they are both clearly in favour of their respective political party.
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