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IFJ/EFJ Strongly Support Spanish Unions Against Brutal Closure of RTV Valencia (Nou) in Spain

December 4, 2013

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have strongly condemned the brutal closure, in Spain, of the public broadcaster Radio Televisio Valenciana (called Canal Nou in Valencian language) by the regional government of Valencia.

According to IFJ/EFJ affiliates in Spain, at midday today, police forced their way into the station's building cutting the broadcast signal. Up to that point, the RTVV staff had continued to resist the decision of the President of the regional government, Alberto Fabra, to close the station and had been broadcasting independently for 15 days.

Canal 9 is the only public regional television station broadcasting in the Valencian language (as it is called the Catalan language in Valencia).

"This is absolutely shameful, not only the decision but also the brutal way in which it was carried out," said EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez. "For the second time, following what happened in Greece, authorities have used a police force to close a public media broadcaster. It is against all normal behavior and regulations in the European Union where public broadcasting plays a vital role in ensuring pluralism and democracy."

With the support of the Spanish unions affiliated to the IFJ/EFJ (CCOO, FeSP and FAPE), as well as other journalists organisations, staff at RTVV had continued broadcasting in recent weeks against the will of the owner, the regional government of Valencia.
They also received support from the public, while a court recently declared as illegal the decision taken by the regional president to close the channel and make the employees redundant.

"We will continue supporting the employee's by all union and legal means against the decision to close Canal 9," said IFJ General Secretary Beth Costa. "Those who are responsible are punishing Valencia viewers and RTVV employees by taking this shameful decision."
The Spanish journalists unions have said that negotiations are needed so RTVV can continue operating, and they will again take the issue to the Spanish and European court.The staff at RTVV continue to broadcast through several means, including some other regional channels.
The EFJ/IFJ are calling on president Fabra to reconsider his decision and to reopen talks with the unions and the representatives of the staff.

On 18 November, members of the EFJ Broadcasting Expert Group have sent a solidarity message to journalists at RTVV. Please click to watch the video message here

For more information contact:
International Federation of Journalists
Phone: + 32 2 235 22 17

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