Discomfort in TVE Catalunya around electoral debate only in Spanish

2 min
Xabier Fortes to present the debate this Sunday

A group of TVE Catalunya professionals have expressed their dissatisfaction with how the state broadcaster will conduct the debate between candidates scheduled for this Sunday's prime time. For the first time, the debate will be held entirely in Spanish. There are also complaints that "he chosen moderator is not a RTVE Catalunya professional. There are professionals here who are more than qualified to perform the functions of moderator and who, in addition, are in daily contact with the Catalan social and political reality". In the letter to which ARA has had access, the staff stress that some of these journalists "have experience in programmes of this same format, both at Catalan and state level". The journalist Xabier Fortes is the one chosen to present the debate, but the signatories do not mention him because they do not want to question his professionalism.

The letter goes even further, when it claims the decision does not respect law 17/2006 article 3.1, section E: the public broadcaster has to watch over "the territorial cohesion, plurality and linguistic and cultural diversity of Spain". They ask the management to reconsider this exclusion of Catalan in the debates and consider that it establishes a comparative grievance with the staff of the production center of RTVE in Catalonia: "We regret the decision taken, which we consider shuns the professionalism of the news staff of TVE Catalunya, which has been amply demonstrated during the months of pandemic, the trial of the Independence bid and during the so-called hot autumn".

At the moment, about fifty signatures endorse the message, which has came out of the newsroom but which cameras and department staff have also signed, although new support is still being obtained. Subsequently, union CCOO signed the letter too, with a statement which says that "it is about offering a public service of quality and proximity" and demands another debate in Catalan.