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September 23, 2020

Antena 3 asks Parliament’s protection against DNA’s pressures

Late Tuesday, Mihai Gadea, CEO of Antena 3, and Radu Tudor, General Manager of Antena International, asked the Culture and Mass Media Commission of the Chamber of Deputies to set up an investigation commission as a reaction to “pressure from DNA (National Anticorruption Directorate)” targeted at Intact trust and “ordered by Traian Basescu,” Evenimentul Zilei wrote in yesterday’s edition.
According to the newspaper, Gadea told the MPs that TV channel Antena 3 “was subject to pressure, intimidation and threats that should not be allowed in a state governed by the rule of law, in which constitutional order must be obeyed by all citizens, regardless of their social or political status.” The attacks were led by President Basescu, CSM (the Superior Council of Magistracy) and DNA, Antena 3 representatives claim. “The latter institution made up a so-called blackmail file involving the Antena Group and, without any kind of legal basis and by pushing the boundaries of reality in an unacceptable manner, DNA initiated criminal proceedings on Antena 3 viewed as a legal entity. This extremely alarming action jeopardizes the jobs of hundreds of employees who work for hundreds of thousands of television viewers,” Gadea stated at the parliamentary debate. He went on to say President Traian Basescu “urged Romanians not to watch Antena 3 for a week” and a prosecutor “made a preemptive statement” characterizing the press institution as harmful and dangerous. In conclusion, the journalist requested that an investigation commission be established, which would gather all necessary points of view and draft a report to be included in a file for the European institutions.
“USL representatives in the Parliament and government are labeled reticent when it comes to investigating forms of abuse committed by Traian Basescu and the institutions under his responsibility. Perhaps we will be the ice-breakers in this affair and encourage them, to the best of our abilities, to take the right actions in accordance with their capacity as representatives of the people,” Radu Tudor said.
Gigel Stirbu (PNL), chairman of the Commission on Culture, stated Commission deputies will write up a report on this topic, even if they might not form an investigation commission. The Liberal added that he is against the implication of state institutions in the editorial practice of a television channel or in national or local media.

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