Blocking the bank account of the Macedonian Radio and Television (MRT) by the Public Revenue Office (PRO) is a serious intrusion of the government in the institutional autonomy of the public service broadcaster. The blocking of the account of MRT is an intentional pressure by the government in order to discipline the public broadcaster and to influence the way of reporting for the upcoming early parliamentary elections. Such pressures are an interference with the public service broadcasters’ work to stop equal representation of all parties in the electoral process.
It is absurd that the Public Revenue Office is acting financial discipline and blames the MRT for non-payment of taxes when the PRO itself has been unable to collect the public broadcasting fee, which is the main source of funding for the public service. Instead of blocking the account of MRT, the PRO should explain to the public why until now it had failed to meet its legal obligation in collecting the broadcasting fee.
The government’s appeals calling the Public Revenue Office and the MRT to find an agreement for the tax issue is pure hypocrisy when the government itself does not agree in achieving a sustainable solution for financing the public broadcaster. The Government by acting constructiveness can not distance itself from responsibility for the bad financial situation the public broadcaster is in.
We call the PRO to immediately unblock the account of MRT and to seriously take further steps in collecting the broadcasting fee so the normal work of the public broadcaster is ensured.