The CVP gives "No Billag" a clear rebuff

The CVP wants nothing to do with the No Billag initiative. With 248 votes to 12 with 2 abstentions, the delegates in Bern on Saturday adopted the no-parole to the bill, which will be put to the people on March 4.


The initiative endangers national cohesion, said National Council President Dominique de Buman and warned against breaking up SRG. "The different language regions need balanced information in their own language."

The commercialization of the media landscape envisaged by the initiators would lead to financially powerful investors gaining even more power in the Swiss media market. These - often foreign - investors would only be interested in pushing through their own interests. "I don't want a situation like that in the U.S. or Italy for our country," he said.

Nine delegates took the floor in the discussion - all of them in favor of a No vote. Even the president of the Young CVP: "We young people have a different media consumption behavior," Tino Schneider admitted. But the boys also wanted comprehensive and balanced reporting in all parts of the country.

"Fourth Estate"

Florian Maier of the initiative committee campaigned in vain for a yes vote, arguing that radio and television should be depoliticized. Today, he said, these are on the Federal Council's leash, which is why they do not criticize the national government. "The media cannot fulfill their role as the fourth power in the state."

"Mr. Maier is allowed to say what he wants, that's freedom of expression," Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard said later in her closing speech. "But he has said things that are not true." In a democracy where the media is the fourth estate, she said, the media must point this out.

Fake news is a real threat, the media minister stressed - every country needs public broadcasting that is committed to balance. "Interpretations will always differ," that is part of the political debate, she said. "But the facts have to be right." (SDA)

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