Radio Netherlands Worldwide told to focus on free speech

17th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Radio Netherlands Worldwide’s Dutch-language editorial desk and programming are to be discontinued. The government’s decision was announced in parliament on Friday afternoon. The Dutch world service will continue in a decidedly reduced format, with the promotion of free speech as its chief area of focus.

RNW will issue an official reaction later on Friday.

As part of an economy drive in public broadcasting, the Netherlands' public broadcasters have been ordered to save 200 million euros on a 900 million euro budget. Several domestic public broadcasting companies have announced mergers. It is expected that RNW's current 46 million euro budget will shrink substantially, although no figures have been announced by the government.

Public expenditure The rightwing government led by conservative liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced a wide-ranging cost-cutting exercise in an attempt to drastically reduce public expenditure. Health care, social work and immigrant integration projects are among the areas deeply affected by the budget cuts.

Most plans still require parliament's approval. The public broadcasting budget will be debated on 27 June.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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