MEDIA IN CRISIS

Valencia regional television closure “not negotiable,” says PP premier Fabra

Court order to reinstate 1,000 workers leads to closure of RTVV Madrid PP leader suggests similar action may occur at Telemadrid

The shutdown of RTVV is not negotiable,” Valencia regional premier Carlos Fabra of the Popular Party (PP) said on Wednesday, a day after a court order overturned the imposition of a labor force adjustment plan (ERE) on the region’s television and radio broadcaster. The judicial decision obliges the Valencia authorities to readmit 1,000 workers to RTVV, a year after they were laid off.

In view of the ruling, Fabra said the closure of RTVV was “the only decision that could be taken” and that the prime minister and economy minister from Spain’s PP government had both been consulted, and had agreed.

“We do not have 40 million euros for the readmission of 1,000 workers,” Fabra added. Outside the regional seat of government, dozens of RTVV workers shouted “thieves!” loud enough to be heard in the conference room. “We’re not going to see a single school or hospital close; we have to maintain basic public services for citizens. The process will now be looked at by the judicial services, but it will be quick.”

Transmissions continued as normal on RTVV on Wednesday morning. The news program Bon día de Nou announced the “outrageous news that unfortunately we found out yesterday.” RTVV employees are planning a series of protests and communiqués in an attempt to rescue the broadcaster. Two left-wing parties in the Valencia region, Compromís and EUPV, have said they will wage a “legal, political and social battle” against the Fabra government’s decision, while the Valencia Socialist Party demanded that the administration “sit down and negotiate a new ERE” with labor unions.

Separately, Madrid PP regional premier Ignacio González said Wednesday that he would order the closure of Telemadrid if labor unions “make it unviable and it continues to be loss-making.”

Telemadrid has run up multi-million-euro debts in recent years and taken on more staff, leading the regional authorities to submit an ERE for 861 employees. The ERE was declared unjust by the regional High Court but submitted on appeal to the Supreme Court. “We can only maintain public media , as laid out in law, if they are not loss-making, and that it is what we are trying to do,” said González.