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ATR to appeal to EU, if government financing issue not resolved

13.02.2020, 13:49
Photo credit: ATR
Photo credit: ATR

If scenario with government financing of the Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR is not settled, the broadcaster will appeal to the European Union, which earlier had promised to provide financial support, as the director general of the Crimean Tatar channel ATR Lenur Islamov said asked by Hromadske.

Islamov said, the TV channel has short-received funding from the state and is now on the edge of closing, because the state required to hold the tender. He added that the authority to dispose the TV channel’s funds has been transferred to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

"Borodyansky (head of the Ministry of Culture. - Ed. ) spoke only about a part of the problem ... For four years we have been receiving money from the Ministry of Social Policy, which allocated it us for the channel, and the Treasury, this was the treasury, that allocated money for us. Without any condition. Now there is a new option: tender, ” Islamov said.

Asked how the tender should take place, Islyamov replied: “We cannot understand it. We are a business entity… we pay income tax. We gave the money, that the state gave us annually, for profit, because the tax admin istration also checked us ... It turns out, now we are told by the Treasury that we have wrongly paid taxes. "

He supposed that, apart from the tender, due to which the TV channel had not received financing, there were "in-depth points" and decisions were not made at the State Treasury.

Islamov also noted that ATR would not going to sue anyone for public funding.

As IMI reported,on February 10 the Crimean Tatar channel ATR its financing from the state budget was suspended and the broadcaster was under threat of closure.  Some of these funds were transferred to the ATR account, but it has been blocked by the Treasury.

Due to the blocking of funds, ATR has launched the #SaveATR Marathon: they broadcast programs without presenters and guests.

On February 11, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine Volodymyr Borodyanskyi said his department was to settle the issue of under-financing of ATR channel.

Earlier this month, the ATR owner Lenur Islamov told that because of underfunding, ATR TV channel has reduced 45% of its staff. About 40 persons have been fired, journalists, film directors and others. News editions have been also cut and live broadcasts have been suspended. Islamov added that the channel was on the verge of closing.

At the beginning of the year, the private Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR was on the verge of closing due to the suspension of financial support from the state budget. In the second half of 2019, ATR received from the state 15 million UAH ($617 thousand). ATR has been receiving financial support from the state budget since 2016 through the budget program of resettlement and arrangement of Crimean Tatars and persons of other nationalities deported from the territory of Ukraine.

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