VRT boss summons government in autonomy row
14 September 2006, BRUSSELS — A conflict between the chief of the Flemish public broadcaster VRT and the Flemish government continued to escalate on Thursday.
14 September 2006
BRUSSELS — A conflict between the chief of the Flemish public broadcaster VRT and the Flemish government continued to escalate on Thursday.
VRT chief Tony Mary said on Thursday morning he would summons the board of management and the government to the industrial relations court in a dispute over the broadcaster's autonomy.
But Flemish Media Minister Geert Bourgeois was angered by the development and said he would present an "alternative" proposal to the government on Thursday night.
He said Mary had created an "intolerable situation" that was not in the interests of the VRT, the broadcaster's staff and the 6 million VRT viewers and listeners. Bourgeois therefore was presenting a proposal to the government to resolve the crisis.
The controversial legal action initiated by Mary comes amid a conflict around the popular TV show 'Flikken' (Cops in English).
The new series will first be broadcast on the pay-TV broadcaster Belgacom TV. Later, it will be shown on the free-to-air network.
Minister Bourgeois was angered by the decision and asked the VRT to change its decision. The board of management then ruled in favour of the minister's request on Monday.
Mary accused the minister of unacceptable intervention in the autonomy of the public broadcaster.
Moreover, it followed legislation from a couple of months ago politicising the VRT.
The legislation gave the minister greater power to decide with a simple majority in the board of management whether a VRT policy is strategically beneficial.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news