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Romania’s state TV will make redundant around 1,000 employees in order to reduce costs.
The management of the cash-strapped public television, TVR, will decide a plan on Friday to begin firing around 30 per cent of the 3,300 employees.
“Around 1,000 people have to leave TVR starting next month. We plan to reduce the number of current channels and to reorganize the general activity,” Lucia Hossu-Longin, member of TVR board, said on Thursday.
Furthermore, TVR plans to restructure the budget allocated for supplementary hours and work done during the weekend.
TVR started in 1965 and now includes seven national TV stations and five that broadcast at a regional level.
In recent months, TVR came under fire from political parties and the media for the public broadcaster’s problems, which primarily stem from poor financial results.
In May, the Tax Administration froze the accounts of TVR because of a debt of approximately 69 million euro, including penalties. This put the broadcaster at risk of having to suspend activity.
But reforming Romanian public television is a long and painful process. Constant political pressure, excessive staffing levels, poor or unbalanced political shows, and outdated equipment are some of the many problems affecting the national broadcaster, reports say.
In late June, the Parliament has approved the new board for TVR, which is composed of representatives from all political parties, apart from the opposition Democrat Liberal Party, PDL. The 13-member board includes representatives nominated by the government and the President.
Claudiu Saftoiu, a journalist and former chief of the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service, has become the new boss of public television, but most independent analysts say the decision was a move by the ruling coalition to insert its own officials into important public bodies.
Around 70 per cent of the TVR’s revenue comes from publicity, transmission fees and TV licenses paid for by users. The rest of the money comes from the state budget, which makes it dependent on the generosity of the ruling parties.
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