The Parliament on Wednesday voted for the appointment of Irina Radu as interim TVR President with 231 votes in favour and only 3 opposed, PNL not participating to the vote.
The new interim President and Director General of TVR, Irina Radu, said on Wednesday, after the validation of her mandate by Parliament, that she was not ‘satisfied’ with the public television station’s programmes and that the institution had also presented politically and journalistically ‘incorrect’ facts in time.
Irina Radu said she was nervous and that she was aware of the risk she was taking by becoming the head of TVR, but she thinks she has a duty towards her colleagues and those who asked for her support.
‘I am taking a major risk here, but I am doing this for my colleagues and for me. TVR made me what I am. The MPs were talking about plans. It’s aberrant to claim to have plans overnight. I am on the Steering Committee and, from that position, I had a certain type of plans. In my new position, the plans will change. I will focus on changing the law and things that matter enormously to our ability to perform’, said Irina Radu after the vote in Parliament.
‘I want us to be what we should be and what people expect TVR to be. The viewers first and the politicians second’, she added.
She also said that it was too early for her to say what plans she had in her new office as the head of TVR, but stressed that her attention would be on changing the law, with the priority being the payment of wages and viewing ratings.
Irina Radu is a co-ordinator with the competence of director at the Programmes Directorate. She used to be an editor at Monitorul de Iasi, then editor and anchor at TVR Iasi. Since 1993, she has been working for TVR, first as a producer and anchor, then as special events director. In 2006 she quit the public television to work for other TV stations, then she came back in 2012.
The 2014 TVR activity report was rejected on Wednesday by 115 votes in favour and 20 opposed. Under the law, the Board of Directors and the President and Director General of TVR, Stelian Tanase, are automatically dismissed. The plenary of the Parliament voted to appoint Irina Radu as interim President of TVR, by 231 votes in favour and only 3 opposed, PNL not attending.
Stelian Tanase: ‘When I came to TVR, I inherited a debt of almost 180 million euro’
Before the vote in plenary session, Stelian Tanase blamed the poor TVR viewing ratings on the immixture in the editorial policy.
‘When I came to the Romanian Television, I inherited a debt of almost 180 million euro. I was promised support, as there was a 70% majority (in Parliament – editor’s note). If we consider the spirit of the report, the conclusion is that we did not take care of things and the debt augmented. It did augment, but because there was no legislative framework and absolutely necessary decisions the Government should have made. Unfortunately, it has not made them’, Stelian Tanase said.
He said he had made several proposals of measures the Government should have adopted, such as the raising of the subscription fee, fiscal amnesty, erasing of debt, change of advertising regime or rescheduling of debt. ‘We have been unable to obtain any such measure’, said Tanase.
Victor Ponta: ‘I do not believe Stelian Tanase’
Prime-Minister Victor Ponta said on Wednesday that the Government would support the public television in any way that it could, but with ‘respect for the public money’, and noted that TVR was the station with the biggest debt and lowest viewing rating. He added that he did not believe any fee should be raised.
‘In what regards the decision the Parliament ahs made today regarding the public TV station, we will support in any way that we can, but with respect for the public money, because the public television is the station with the highest budget in Romania, the station with the highest debt and with the lowest viewing ratings and lowest public impact’, Victor Ponta said at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Ponta added that the Government could take measures to support the public TV station, but that, in his opinion, the radio-TV subscription fee should not be raised.
On the alleged pressure Gabriel Oprea put on Stelian Tanase, the PM said he did not believe the head of TVR, because he had ‘caught him lying far too many times’.
‘I do not believe Stelian Tanase because I have caught him lying far too many times, when he would visit me in my office, asking me all kinds of things, and then do something totally different on TV. I do not believe him’, said the premier, asked what he thought about the pressure Gabriel Oprea had allegedly put on Stelian Tanase.
Victor Ponta said that, in the rest of Europe, the public television is a public information service, unlike TVR.
As for erasing TVR’s debt, the PM said the law says the money ahs to be collected and noted that, if the Parliament adopted a law saying otherwise, then he could discuss about it.
Alina Gorghiu: ‘Interim TVR management not a solution’
PNL Co-president Alina Gorghiu said in Parliament on Wednesday that the interim leadership of TVR was not a solution and that she doubted that Stelian Tanase was the member of any political party so that he had to be replaced.
On Liviu Dragnea’s proposal for talks on amending the TVR law, Gorghiu said PNL had never turned down an invitation to dialogue on important themes.