Sanchez proposes to limit funding for public media in September

Sanchez proposes to limit funding for public media in September

The government will reform the laws on corporate advertising, the right to honour and correction and set a ceiling on public funding for the media. These will be the main axes of the plan for democratic renewal that Pedro Sánchez will present to the Chamber of Deputies on July 17, as he presented yesterday during an interview on SER, in which the head of the executive also conveyed “all his support” to the State Attorney, Álvaro García Ortiz, in the face of a possible indictment. In contrast, he indicated that “there is absolutely nothing” in the case of his wife, in a crucial week in both cases.

The preparation of the Democratic Renewal Plan is scheduled to start next September, after the round of contacts with parliamentary partners begins in the second half of July. The measures being negotiated between the coalition partners, through a specific working group, focus mainly on the implementation of the European regulation on media freedom. As Pedro Sánchez defended, it is “unacceptable” that “disinformation and fake news” are financed with public resources, especially when the income from public funding is greater than that of the public.

The European standard entered into force on May 7, and member states will have to apply most of its article from 2025. Its main novelties, in addition to those related to ensuring the plurality of information, concern the financing and transparency of the media. Both in terms of their owners and institutional advertising. Issues that Sánchez will explain in his parliamentary session, and which, as he explained, he is already working on with his coalition partners. Specifically, regarding the limits of public financing, the head of the executive questioned that “there are media that have no readers, only public money”.

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In response to the statements of the head of the executive, the Popular Party accused him of wanting to “strangle the press that does not hide the corruption of the government, the Socialist Workers’ Party and Pedro Sánchez’s own family”, describing them as “fake media” as he did in his radio intervention yesterday and starting to “persecute the critical press with the aim of a supposed democracy”. “We will not support any witch hunt,” Popular Party sources told Europa Press.

The party pointed out that Sánchez’s initiative comes precisely in the week in which his wife, Begoña Gómez, declared herself a corruption suspect, which could lead to the State Attorney General being charged with political persecution of Isabel Díaz Ayuso, and in which the Transitional Council could continue to pursue Isabel Díaz Ayuso. Convictions are cheap in the Aero case.

“economic suffocation”

According to the PP, “democracy needs a free press, not a gaggle.” For this reason, it predicted that it would not support Sánchez’s initiative. “We did not do it when they started the case against the judges, when the executive gave them togas, and we will not do it now,” the same sources added. The PP said that the head of government does not respond to information about “corruption” by going to court, but by threatening these presidents with economic strangulation, “because he does not seek to defend the truth, but to silence it.”

In response to the Prime Minister’s proposal, Chaabi asserts that if his intention is to truly “honor the role of the media,” he should start “with those over whom he has direct authority,” for example by replacing the media executive of Efe, Miguel Angel Oliver, and the interim president of RTVE, Concepcion Cascajosa, whom the Popular Party criticizes, respectively, Oliver’s former status as “communications officer in Moncloa” and that of PSOE activist in Cascajosa.

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