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Slovakia abolishes public broadcasters

Slovakia's public broadcaster has been dissolved by law. In future, RTVS will be replaced by a state medium. The opposition announced that it would file a complaint with the Constitutional Court. The government wants to create a propaganda medium.

Slovakia's previous public broadcaster has been formally dissolved and replaced by a new state medium. The opposition parties immediately announced that they would file a complaint against the law with the Constitutional Court. They accuse the government of creating a propaganda medium for themselves.

It was only on Sunday that President Peter Pellegrini signed the STVR law, which had been passed in parliament by the government majority of two social democratic and one nationalist parties. It was then hastily published in the official collection of laws just before midnight. This fulfilled the last-minute requirement for it to come into force on Monday as planned.

Formally, the previous broadcaster RTVS ceased to exist. The new STVR has already started operations. The public didn't see much of it. All news was broadcast as before with the RTVS logo on the screen, and the RTVS website also remained operational at the usual address.

New station management only in September

It was only late on Monday afternoon that the Vice President of Parliament, Peter Ziga, who is only provisionally responsible for the state media, announced the appointment of a STVR head. Marketing expert Igor Slanina is to lead the company with limited powers until the end of September, as long as there is no officially elected STVR head. The head is to be chosen by a council yet to be appointed by the government and parliament.

The nationalist culture minister Martina Simkovicova and the left-wing populist prime minister Robert Fico had repeatedly criticized RTVS's reporting as biased against them. However, due to the existing legal situation, they were unable to remove the general director Lubos Machaj and his team, who had been elected by a previous parliamentary majority until 2027. With the formal dissolution of RTVS, this obstacle has been removed.

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