Serbian Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM) Council chair Olivera Zekic said that the government is not exerting any pressure on the REM but that a part of the opposition has been “brutalizing” the REM members throughout the process of awarding national broadcasting licenses to television stations.
Regarding the accusations that REM is not awarding the fifth national broadcasting license due to pressure from the authorities, Zekic told Pink TV that the fifth license has not yet been awarded because one of the applicants, Nova S, has sued the REM.
„Nova S sued us for, according to them, extending the deadline for the issuance of a national broadcasting license,” said Zekic, adding that, while in a lawsuit with one of the television stations that have applied for the license, the issuance of the license by the REM is a “no can do.”
The Serbian electronic media watchdog chief said “other television stations never said a word while they were waiting to see who would get the license.”
At its meeting on Monday the REM did not discuss awarding the fifth national broadcasting license for which only four television stations have applied: Nova S, Kurir, Kopernikus and BK.
The REM Council on Monday passed a decision on awarding the so-called Belgrade broadcasting frequencies to Studio B TV and Una TV, and 11 licenses to radio stations airing their program in the territory of the city of Belgrade.
“All this time a part of the opposition is brutalizing us. It is trying to impose the narrative that the REM is financed by Serbian taxpayers. The REM is not a budget agency, we pay the difference between income and expenditure into the Serbian budget,” said Zekic.
The REM financial plan, under which this organization’s 2023 budget is a little over 400 million dinars (1 euro – 117 dinars), was recently on the agenda of the Serbian Parliament.
Zekic told Pink TV that the decision on awarding the fifth national broadcasting license could be made at the REM sitting on Monday, or that the license might not be awarded at all.