Gruevski’s government paid over EUR 25 million to national televisions

Фото: Б. Грданоски

VMRO-DPMNE government led by former PM Nikola Gruevski has paid over EUR 26 million to national televisions in the country in the period between 2010 and 2017, of which 95 percent have ended up on the accounts of Sitel, Kanal 5 and Alfa TV, according to the “Open Finance” data base, reports Prizma.

The exact amount is EUR 26.6 million. The former government has paid most of this amount, over 90 percent, directly from its budget as “other transfers”, while ministries and government secretariats have contributed only a smaller percentage.

Twenty five percent of this amount have ended up on the accounts of three national televisions – Sitel TV comes first having received EUR 10.2 million in the seven-year period, with most money received in 2015 – EUR 1.8 million. Kanal 5 comes second with EUR 8.5 million, whereas Alfa TV comes third with EUR 6.3 million, Prisma reports.

Alfa TV’s revenue from the government rose sharply in 2013, after Serbian businessman Veselin Jevrosimović took over the television. Alfa TV received EUR 275.000 in 2012, whereas after the change of ownership it got EUR 1.5 million, i.e. a noticeable five-fold increase.

The other two national televisions, Telma TV and Alsat, have received far less money in the same seven-year period, i.e. around EUR 859.000 and around EUR 5454.000, respectively.

At the beginning of its term, the SDSM-led government announced that the former government led by VMRO-DPMNE had spent EUR 38 million on media campaigns and propaganda, in both digital and print media, but exact amounts received by each medium were not mentioned. In 2018 and 2019, during the rule of the SDSM-led coalition, no transfers to national media have been made by the government or the ministries. At the beginning of 2019, the current government provided EUR 692.000 support to 11 print media, and such support is likely again in 2020.