Politicians slam suggestion that the public broadcaster should be nationalized

Czech politicians have sharply rejected the idea that the country’s public broadcasters –Czech Radio and Czech Television – should be nationalized. The suggestion was made by the head of the Party of Freedom and Direct Democracy Tomio Okamura in an interview for Czech Radio, when he claimed that the financing of the two institutions was intransparent and they should be under national supervision. He said his party was in favour of scrapping license fees and making the public broadcasters entirely dependent on state support.

Politicians from the ANO party, the Pirates party, the Christian Democrats, TOP 09 and the Mayors and Independents slammed the idea saying they would never support censorship or take any measure that would undermined the independence of the country’s public broadcasters.

The head of Czech Radio Rene Zavoral said Czech Radio regularly presents reports on spending to the lower house of Parliament and argued that nationalizing the public broadcaster would be in violation of the basic principles of democracy.