Stelian Tanase, President and CEO of the Romanian Television Company (SRTv) stated that the government is to blame for the television channel’s situation and the fact that the Fiscal Revenue Authority (ANAF) seized the institution’s bank accounts represents in fact Victor Ponta’s “revenge,” adding that resigning from the leadership of TVR is out of the question.
Likewise, Stelian Tanase stated that he does not consider himself at fault for TVR’s current situation, pointing out that the Government is to blame.
“The Government is guilty for this situation. Several successive governments, not just the Ponta Government. Only measures against the television channel have been adopted in the past ten years, measures that have ruined it. If you look at our balance sheet last year, it is in the green. We made savings of up to 25 per cent. But it’s impossible with the tax (TV tax – editor’s note) we have, with the VAT we pay, the highest in Europe, to have sufficient cash flow to pay off historic debts. You know that this seizing of accounts was done for a sum dating back to 2010. From what I know, I wasn’t a director in 2010. We paid for 2007, 2008, 2009, but these are historic debts, with related penalties. (…) The government is guilty and the governments that, for the last ten years, have been taking measures against the television channel and have ruined it financially,” Stelian Tanase stated for Mediafax.
He also stated that TVR has sued ANAF.
“The solution is for TVR to pay this debt. And we will pay it,” Stelian Tanase added.
Asked what will happen if the debt is nevertheless not paid by September 1, Stelian Tanase answered: “I don’t know. We will block the television. The government shuts it down.”
“The BBC pays 0 VAT, so does the Spanish public television. To give you only two examples. We pay 24 per cent. Since the introduction of VAT in 2005 the television channel’s budget collapsed. From that moment on we were in the red,” the SRTv Director pointed out.
Asked whether he considers the decision to seize TVR’s accounts some kind of revenge, considering that Stelian Tanase recently wrote on his blog an editorial criticizing Victor Ponta, Tanase confirmed the hypothesis, pointing out that he has written many editorials about the Premier.
“Ponta has been my client for a long time. (…) Yes. He wanted to take revenge. He gave me a warning,” Tanase stated for Mediafax.
On the other hand, Stelian Tanase stated that resigning is out of the question despite the fact that he was asked to do so.
“I was asked to resign from the first day I arrived at the TVR. I was welcomed with a lot of hostility. I suspect the reason for that is the fact that I came up with the idea of implementing reforms. So resigning is out of the question, because I am also well backed by others. For this reason,” Stelian Tanase added.
Following the decision adopted on Tuesday by TVR’s Administrative Board, including the shutting down of TVR News on August 1 and the lowering of the number of leadership positions within the institution by merging the News Department and the Sport Shows and Sport News Department, Stelian Tanase is preparing other measures too, without revealing his plans in this sense.
He nevertheless said that TVR2 will not be shut down. “The talks have been only to merge TVRHD with TVR2, so that TVR2 would become fully HD. We won’t shut it down,” Stelian Tanase explained.