French CNN gets green light for 2005

9th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 9 (AFP) - After months of uncertainty over its financing, a French international television news channel is to go ahead in 2005, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Thursday.

PARIS, Dec 9 (AFP) - After months of uncertainty over its financing, a French international television news channel is to go ahead in 2005, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Thursday.

Dubbed France's answer to CNN, the satellite station was ordered by President Jacques Chirac two years ago but has been delayed by arguments over its make-up, scale and cost.

Raffarin told a press conference that an amendment to the 2005 budget will be put through parliament to allow the channel - officially known as the International Information Channel (CII) - to start operating with a budget of EUR 30 million (USD 40 million).

The station is to be formed by a partnership between the state-owned France Televisions and the private station TF1 and is expected to have an initial staff of some 200 people.

"The new channel will enjoy the advantages offered by France's leading television companies - private and public - in order to express the diversity to which our country is so deeply attached," Raffarin said.

Originally conceived with a much larger budget, the station was to have started broadcasting in French, English and Arabic but initial plans have been scaled back.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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