Public radio and television in the Azores must be "fully funded by the National Government"
The Government of the Azores restated on Friday that "according to the legislative framework in force," public radio and television service in the Azores and its respective funding "falls within the powers of the National Government."
The position was taken by the Regional Secretary of the Presidency during a discussion of two draft Resolutions presented by PPM and PSD on that regional public service at the Legislative Assembly.
According to André Bradford, this has always been the position taken by the Government, which has long drawn attention to the fact that RTP/A was "a patient with a hangnail" and, thus, "a solution is needed."
Unfortunately, continued the Regional Secretary, Minister Miguel Relvas came and his solution is to "cut the arm" in order to cure "the hangnail." We neither believe in this type of solution nor do we agree with this type of solution."
André Bradford also stressed that the Government of the Azores has been always available "to responsibly search for alternative solutions for the future operation of RTP/A."
I have already conveyed our position to RTP administration and to its political administration, said the Regional Secretary for the Presidency. But, so far, "no concrete solution has appeared" as any explanation was ever given regarding its future.
The Regional Secretary also complained that RTP/A has become "the example" of a strategy, a prejudice and of an ideological bias based on the principles of "centralism" and "unruly liberalism."
"What is intended, stubbornly and unreasonably, is to make RTP/A the first of several actions" that will cover the University of the Azores, the management of regional airports, the air fares and public service obligations," denounced André Bradford.
As the Secretary of the Presidency advocated, all these actions are based on the same premises; the country's financial situation does not allow the National Government to abide by Constitution and the laws; therefore, it feels free from the responsibility of complying with the provisions of the Constitution.
André Bradford stated that "all these actions are intended to reorganise public service, adding that in the case of RTP, "the plan designed by Minister Relvas aims to partially privatise public service as well as to reduce, cut and decrease costs. This is how it is being done in Mainland Portugal and in the autonomous regions and, in this context, the announced his intention of starting the implementation of these reforms in both archipelagos."
Questioned on governmental support, the Regional Secretary of the Presidency stressed that the Azores have supported RTP/A in accordance with its needs and the regional budget availability.
The government official also reminded that the regional support to RTP/A is "complementary" as, in accordance to the provision of the law, the State is responsible for supporting the costs of public radio and television service in the Autonomous Regions.