End of the fee: “massive” strike on public TV and radio, worried about their future

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Internal sources at France Télévisions identified 45% of strikers in all trades within the France 3 network, “never seen”, and 25% at the Paris headquarters.

The antennas of radios and TV channels of the public audiovisual sector are disrupted on Tuesday by a “massive” strike against the abolition of the fee wanted by the government this fall, in a broader context of fears for their future.

Because of this movement, the music was running at full speed on France info, France Inter or even France Culture, three quarters of the journalists of Radio France supposed to work Tuesday being on strike, according to one of their unions, the SNJ.

Consequence: on France 2, the 1 p.m. news, “solidarity” with the movement, was shortened and extracts from Télématin were rebroadcast instead of the morning show, a first in 30 years.

Banners also announced the disruption of the Franceinfo and France 24 channels, the employees of France Médias Monde (France 24, RFI, MCD), also being called upon to mobilize with those of Arte and Ina by an inter-union CGT-CFDT -FO-SNJ-SUD-UNSA-CGC-CFTC.

Demonstration in Paris

In Paris, behind a banner proclaiming “Save public broadcasting”, several hundred people left at midday from Montparnasse towards the National Assembly, where the new legislature is to be launched.

Many members of the Nupes have already shown their “support” for the strikers on Twitter, like the president of the socialist group in the Assembly Boris Vallaud, defending “free and quality information”, or his counterpart in the group LFI, Mathilde Panot, for whom “the government is jeopardizing the very existence of public service broadcasting”.

Other actions are planned elsewhere in France. In Saint-Etienne, nearly thirty striking employees of France 3 Loire and France Bleu Saint-Etienne Loire, i.e. almost all of their workforce, gathered in front of their premises on Tuesday morning.

Abolition of fee

At the origin of the movement, the desire of the executive to abolish the fee this fall, in favor of a current budget over several years.

A measure proposed during the presidential campaign by President Emmanuel Macron under purchasing power but which, according to his opponents, threatens the financing and independence of public broadcasting.

Amounting to 138 euros in mainland France and 88 euros overseas, the fee only concerns households that have a television set and is all the more strategic since public service channels have been deprived of evening advertising since 2009. .

Its removal will result in a shortfall of more than 3 billion euros, which the State promises to compensate.

But the strikers are worried about seeing the budget for public broadcasting “decided by the government and subject to the vagaries of the vote on the annual finance laws”, preferring “an allocated resource, guaranteeing its economic and political independence as best as possible”, according to a union leaflet.

Establish a new mechanism

In a report published Monday by the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, the economist committed to the left Julia Cagé proposed to establish a new royalty mechanism, inspired by the Nordic countries. It would be a tax specifically dedicated to the financing of public broadcasting, but variable according to household income.

The end of the fee is included in the package of measures on purchasing power, which must be presented on July 6 in the Council of Ministers, for a review in stride by the deputies and then the senators.

But the result of the June legislative elections and the weakening of the LREM majority make the debates more uncertain.

Beyond the sole question of the license fee, the strikers have been worried about the future of public broadcasting since an LR senatorial report published on June 8 launched the idea of ​​​​a major merger between France Télévisions, Radio France, France Médias Monde (RFI and France 24) and Ina.

“This has been a subject in the air for several years. This debate will take place,” said the new Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, last week in the newspaper Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui en France.

Once fixed “the basic priorities (…), we will discuss the organization. And see if this should be done by a merger or by more flexible methods allowing synergies to be developed”, she added. .

Source: www.ladepeche.fr

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