The Association of Journalists of Macedonia has urged the government of Macedonia to resolve national broadcaster, MRT’s debt to the European Broadcasting Union.
The Association of Journalists of Macedonia has urged that the Macedonian work as swiftly as possible to resolve, MRT’s debt to the European Broadcasting Union. The national broadcaster of Macedonia, MRT, currently owes the EBU a total of 500,000 Euros in unpaid fees.
The AJM states that by moving quickly to act on the issue of debt the danger of MRT being “cut off” from the European Broadcasting Union will be removed. The association argues that MRT being “cut off” from the EBU would which represent a big step back in the process of European integration, which additionally damages the image of the Macedonia.
In a statement the AJM added;
Debt settlement means that MRT will not be able to broadcast a program from any member of the EBU, not even the sports matches, films, foreign shows, cartoons, documentaries. Currently, according to information from the EBU headquarters, MRT does not have access to the content that is broadcast through their services,
The AJM explained that it views the situation as a result of long term mismanagement of the national broadcaster. The exclusion of MRT from the EBU, the statement added, is the result of the non-functional model of financing the public service and the bad management. Issues which have already affected national broadcasters in Romania as well as Bosnia & Herzegovina.
The Program Council of MRT has passed a resolution asking for the Macedonian Government to pay the debt of MRT to the European Broadcasting Union. MRT is currently still able to participate in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2017 which takes place next month, however it has been banned from participating in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, as a result of EBU sanctions.
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FYR Macedonia has had a string of poor results in recent years failing to reach the final every year since 2012. The country debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998, however, two years earlier they attempted to participate but was knocked out in the pre-qualifying round. In 2016 they were represented by Kaliopi for a second time with the song “Dona”, she missed out on the final finishing in 11th in her semi-final. FYR Macedonia’s best result to date is a 12th place finish in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest represented by Elena Risteska and the song “Ninanajna”.