BoC's 'Golden Salaries'

THE board of embattled state broadcaster CyBC said it would not resign, as it rejected opposition charges of acting as a government mouthpiece.

DISY and DIKO are refusing to approve the broadcaster’s budget resulting in the employees remaining unpaid for March; in turn, they staged a four-hour strike on Thursday and warned with more, if they do not receive what is due to them.

Chairman Makis Symeou reiterated that the staff had been caught up in a political game, as he announced that the board would not be stepping down -- as some opposition MPs are demanding – since that would mean confirmation of the unfounded accusations.

“We are not taking part on the board as party commissars,” Symeou told a news conference yesterday. “Any thought of resignation would confirm the unfounded accusations of incompetence, arrogance and arbitrariness. That is why there is no such issue.”

The CyBC boss said “99 per cent of the board’s decisions are unanimous.”

Symeou expressed the board’s disappointment that workers remained unpaid, adding that they will do everything possible for the budget to be approved on Thursday.

The board said it has succeeded in cutting some €11 million in the past two years.

Symeou suggested that something always happens to hurt the broadcaster every time it tries to raise the standards of its programs. He was echoing CyBC’s director Themis Themistocleous who said on Friday that some (unnamed) people tried to hurt the CyBC every time it is viewership figures rose.

The broadcaster’s vice chairman Maria Vassiliadou said CyBC is older than the Republic itself and has operated under many boards and governments since.

“The current board is not responsible for the accumulated debt and practices followed for more than half a century,” she said. “And certainly not the CyBC employees.”

Without naming anyone, she said “amid the perpetual power game” some people have hastily and without any arguments -- “simply because circumstances are suitable and they have the upper hand” -- smeared names and reputations.

“A game that is not based on proof and tangible facts but on speeches and the use of epithets,” Vassiliadou said.

The vice chairman wondered why they were all seen as incompetent and serving the interests of the ruling party.

“If they are to be believed, we will be expelled from our parties,” Vassiliadou said.

Places in the boards of all semi-government organisations, including the CyBC, are typically shared among political parties, although the ruling party may have the majority.

Source: Cyprus-Mail

By George Psyllides

Published on April 1, 2012

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