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2014 GA Declarations: In defense of public media in the Valencian Country

Declaration by JERC made to the 2014 EFAY General Assembly held in Compostela, Galiza.

On November 5th 2013, the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Country (TSJPV) enacted its judgement about the labour force adjustment plan (ERO) affecting 1000 employees of Ràdio Televisió Valenciana (RTVV). The court reversed the plan because of many irregularities and the violation of workers’ fundamental rights, declared unlawful the whole process and forced Generalitat Valenciana to readmit 1000 employees who were laid-off between December 2012 and August 2013.

The reaction of the Valencian government and its President, Alberto Fabra, was announcing the closure of RTVV, alleging economic unsustainability to execute the court’s sentence, and public company liquidation, dismissing the whole workforce from RTVV of 1600 employees. Moreover, the Valencian government decided not to readmit workers in their workplace, but giving a paid leave from the public budget until the company’s liquidation. This closure has a clear privatization and recentralization motive and it’s the repetition of the attempt to privatize RTVV in late 90s by President Eduardo Zaplana. That privatization was stopped at the court by employees, but Zaplana’s government modified RTVV’s law to allow millions in debt and RTVV deterioration by manipulating information and low quality content. With this strategy, continued by every Popular Party government in the Valencian Country, they achieved the rejection from part of the Valencian society to a public service.

The closure of RTVV, ratified by PP’s majority in the Valencian Parliament on November 27th and executed on 12:19 of November 29th, is an attack to fundamental rights of citizenship and represents a loss of the Valencian Country’s public radio and television, removing a public service designed to ensure proximity information, territorial articulation and diffusion of the Catalan language in the Valencian Country. In addition, it’s part of the recentralization process in the Spanish State and part of the general attack to our own language and culture. Closing RTVV is a breach in Use and Teaching of Valencian Law, with 30 years of validity, and the Autonomy Statute and RTVV creation Law.

RTVV’s disappearance is a fatal blow to the audiovisual sector in the Valencian Country, heavily punished by terrible management of RTVV (with some managers involved in corruption cases) which provoked millions in debt and many company extinctions. According to the latest predictions, with RTVV closure 4000 jobs will be lost.

Nowadays, the Valencian Country doesn’t have any radio or television in the Catalan language, due to RTVV closure and prohibition of Catalan television ruled by Popular Party government. This situation is a dangerous threat to the Catalan language in the Valencian Country and disappearance of a shared communication space within the Catalan Countries.

The European Free Alliance Youth

  • rejects the RTVV closure and supports the 1600 laid-off employees.
  • requires the President of Generalitat Valenciana, Alberto Fabra’s resignation and anticipated calling for elections.
  • requires starting every needed initiative to reopen the Valencian public radio and television and  emplaces the European Union to work to protect the languages of all the European nations, including the Catalan Countries.
  • will work to ensure the reception of every radio and television channel in Catalan language in the Valencian Country, and it will work to ensure incorporation of Catalan language in the whole audiovisual sector emission in the Catalan Countries.
  • calls the Valencian Country and the whole Catalan Countries citizenship to reject the Popular Party’s policies of attacking plurality, attacking truthful and public information right and attacking our language and culture; and condemns these kind of policies that attack minorities.
  • gives all our support to all the other European public media that have been closed because of the austerity policies of the European Union.
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