Specifically, the Commission is calling for the administration to draw up two reduced budget options for SRG (Advertising week reported), one with a reduction in fee income of 17 percent, the other with a reduction of 37 percent.
This approach delays the referendum and thus postpones the decision on the existence of SRG and many private TV and radio stations even further, according to a statement. For these media companies and above all their employees, this period of uncertainty - all jobs would be destroyed - is an imposition, the associations state in the statement. There is a risk that editorial teams and employees will be worn down by the ongoing uncertainty. In addition, the media organizations fail to see what clarification of scenarios for a reduction in fees for the SRG has to do with the radical No Billag idea of completely abolishing the SRG and the fee-supported regional broadcasters. The National Council committee could form an opinion on "No Billag" independently of such scenarios.
It is remarkable that the National Council committee is demanding something (the clarification of SRG scenarios with a massively reduced fee budget) that its president, Natalie Rickli, has already tried twice with parliamentary motions without success: On June 18, 2015 with the Rickli postulate (15.3636) "Four budget variants" and on September 25, 2015 as the Rickli motion (15.4032). This motion was rejected by the Council of States on June 14, 2016 and is therefore considered to have been dealt with.
Clarifying scenarios with the administration is legitimate. However, the administration's answer is already known: "Fewer fees mean a reduction in jobs and program services. This would result in a dangerous loss of high-quality information and media diversity. It seems questionable to us that the Commission wants the administration to develop program scenarios with lower budgets," the associations write in a press release.