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November 27, 2020
MEDIA POLITICS

Stelian Tanase complains about political pressure at TVR: My ‘liquidation’ has been decided, on Gabriel Oprea’s request

Public television CEO Stelian Tanase said during a TVR programme that his ‘liquidation’ as the head of the institution had been decided on the request of Deputy Prime-Minister Gabriel Oprea and said that Oprea had phoned him, ‘enraged’, demanding him not to broadcast a material on his plagiarism case.
The Chairman and CEO of TVR, Stelian Tanase, said on the public TV channel, Monday night, that Gabriel Oprea had telephoned him ‘very anxious and enraged’, demanding him not to broadcast a material on his plagiarism. He also said that the UNPR leader, Gabriel Oprea, had also used the representatives of his party on the leadership of TVR to stop materials on the same subject.
‘The current TVR scandal comes from Mr. Oprea. The immediate cause is the conflict with General Oprea. One day, he called me on the phone and told me that a material on his plagiarism had been presented during the evening news programme. He said the public television was the only one attacking him. He was very anxious, very enraged over the subject. I told him I could not stop materials from being broadcast, that I have no editorial control. I told him that if I had phoned the news department telling them to stop presenting anything on that subject, the following day both of us would have been on the front page’, Stelian Tanase said. He also noted that the talk had been mediated by the journalist Rares Bogdan.
Stelian Tanase said the following day he had spoken with Gabriel Oprea again on the phone. This time, Oprea was unhappy that Dragos Patraru was working on a new material on his plagiarism. That new conversation was mediated by the UNPR representatives on the TVR Board of Directors.
‘I received the visit of two Board members who represent UNPR. We talked for five minutes, then one of them took the phone, called General Oprea and told him that they were in the office of the TVR Chairman. We talked, he was equally enraged and revolted that we were preparing a new material on his plagiarism and he gave me the name of Patraru, from the show. I told him that a show cannot be stopped in a militarised manner. But I said to him he could come to the studio and state his point of view or for an interview’, Tanase said. He added that, afterwards, one of the UNPR Board members had even visited him at home.
‘The following day, Oprea saw the two PSD leaders and they decided that I should be liquidated. I mean Ponta and Dragnea. It’s a gross immixture in the freedom of the mass-media in Romania, it’s unacceptable’, the head of TVR also said and added he was certain he would be dismissed by the Parliament.
The TVR 2014 activity report that was rejected by the Culture Committees will be debated and voted on in plenary meeting by Parliament on Wednesday. The TVR leadership can be dismissed by that vote, Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea said on Monday.
Zgonea noted that, if the TVR leadership was dismissed, the Committee of the leaders in Parliament would need to propose a new Board which will be voted on by the senators and deputies.

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