State TV ads scandal
The majority members at the Media Commission rejected the opposition’s
request to establish an Investigation Commission for the scandal of
state owned advertisements, after the scandal with the million USD funds
given only to the government media.
The Media Commission leader, Valentina Leskaj, declared that the unequal advertisement distribution directly affects the media freedom.
“Take the report of the State Department and other specialized agencies about the media freedom. They include the state advertisement issue at the media chapter, because it concerns the freedom of speech. We must seek information only from this point of view, not from the economic perspective that you righteously mentioned. When the media are distributed unequally in the market, the media freedom is damaged”, Leskaj declared.
MP Alfred Dalipi asked the publishing of all procedures for the distribution of state owned advertisements, while the main issue is the rating.
“The Commission must ask all these three Ministries to make available all official information so that we can use all the practices used by these ministries regarding the government funds that have been used for the media advertisements and the selection of these media from these departments”, Dalipi declared.
Dalipi added that in case there will be abuses, an Investigation Committee must be established for this issue, since it’s about great amounts of money that have even given to preferential media.
“If I will have the necessary documentation, it will allow me to continue with my parliamentary function and establish e commission for the distribution of these funds. The figures are frightening and their distribution is uneven. This will bring the conclusion that the government has used the tax payer money for selective payments”, Dalipi declared.
MP Mark Marku declared that this Commission cannot investigate for violations and that the media operators must address to the specific institutions.
“All media must be treated equally, because this is part of the media freedom. The advertisement procedures are set by law and whent here are violations, every media institution has the right to complain to the institutions, prosecution and courts. We are not a court. Every MP has the right to demand information, but we don’t investigate how the other institutions manage their budget. This is set by law, not by us”, Marku declared.
“Every Parliamentary Commission is obliged to monitor the law implementation”, Leskaj declared.
The voting wasn’t realized, because the MPs of the majority were not present for the necessary quorum. The opposition has declared that the pro-government media have taken most of the state owned advertisements and the abuse might rise to 17 million EUR.