Several embassies and international organizations accredited in the Republic of Moldova expressed concern about the reorganization of the public broadcasting institutions in Chisinau, AntenaC radio and EuroTV.
“The reorganization process should neither result in a reduction of pluralism on the Moldovan media market nor deprive citizens of access to complete and impartial information, as well as to public services, such as debates on local policies.”, it is shown in a statement of the occidental ambassadors accredited to Chisinau.
While the media organizations say that “the dismissal of the managers of the two audiovisual institutions, the unannounced interruption of the broadcast of the AntenaC radio station in the afternoon of December 15, the forced evacuation of journalists from the headquarters and its sealing are abusive and undemocratic actions”.
“Challenging common sense”
“The reasons invoked by the authorities” – it is also said in the statement – “(malfunctions at the transmitter, danger of explosion inside the radio station), but also the period chosen for carrying out the actions /…/ remember the scenarios of silence reduction of protests of journalists from Teleradio Moldova company in the summer of 2004”, it is said in the joint statement of several media organizations in the country.
“What is happening in the last days around the two audiovisual stations in the capital, represents a defiance of the constitutional norms, but also of common sense. Or, the journalists from the two stations have become hostages of dirty political games, which in the last the court will strike in the freedom of the press in the Republic of Moldova.”, Petru Macovei, the representative of the” Independent Press Association, told the BBC.
The dismissal of the directors of Antenna C and EuroTV, Vasile State and Arcadie Gherasim respectively – as a result of the reform of the two institutions – have created a wave of dissatisfaction and vehement protest among the employees of AntenaC radio.
They declared a passive strike and civic non-compliance with the decision of the Chisinau Municipal Council to privatize the institution they work for.
From December 15, the journalists from AntenaC radio have a new, interim director, Sandu Sânnic, former head of the News Department of Radio Moldova. But they said they do not accept the new chief and demand that Vasile State be reinstated.
“It is speculated that the faces are directed by some deputies, political parties or municipal councilors. The labor group only wants to be respected to the employees the rights to work and the right to take part in the process of reorganizing this radio station, to be It also takes into account the wishes of the group. We thank all those who support us, but we do not want to become a political member in any case,” says Ecaterina Stratan, Deputy Director of Antena C.
Claims of journalists
Antena C employees have submitted several claims to the new director, Sandu Sânnic, to the mayor of Chisinau, Vasile Ursu and to the municipal councilors, during a press conference held in a tense atmosphere, due to altercations between team members. Antenna C, deputies – on the one hand, and the new administration, on the other.
The journalists demand, inter alia, that a moratorium to be instituted on the problem of reorganizing the institution for a period of at least six months, that interference should not be allowed in the editorial policy of the radio station and that the collective of work during this moratorium be kept intact.
Reply to the new director
However, the new interim director says he will not fire anyone and will not hire new people.
“My heart hurts for these people who work here and I want to remain in a position to fulfill their obligations,” Sandu Sânnic told the BBC.
Asked by the BBC what he will do to resolve this conflict, the acting director of Antenna C has avoided giving a sharp answer.
“I can tell you one thing: I want to get the broadcast started again, both on the city network and on the Republican network. It is a very painful thing when the station does not broadcast. The world does not broadcast … because it does not there is a signal due to a technical malfunction,” said Sandu Sânnic.
Given that the claims of the Antena C radio station team will not be respected, journalists reserve the right to initiate protests, including a strike at the workplace.
The Chisinau City Council decided last week to privatize the Antena C radio station and the Euro TV television station following a chaotic meeting.
Most of the municipal councilors, who group the Communist Party and the Christian Democratic People’s Party, voted “alienation on the basis of the investment contest”, ie the auction sale of the municipal radio and television stations.