Portuguese American Journal

Bailout: Plans to privatize RTP postponed – Portugal

Portugal’s Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Miguel Relvas, confirmed that Portugal’s government has postponed plans to privatize state-run broadcaster RTP [Rádio Televisão Portuguesa].

Adding that the government still intends to sell off one public channel when the time is right, Relvas commented that RTP faces a “painful” restructuring and modernization process which will cost the government €42 million.

Last year, he said, RTP cost the government €540 million. RTP received €240 million of public funds in 2011.

He also noted that a number of other Portuguese media organizations in the country have been undergoing restructuring, amid falling advertising revenues. According to Relvas, the advertising market has dropped by 46 % in the past two years and the government does not want “to destroy the sector,” by jeopardize further the existing private-sector rivals.

On December, Portugal also postponed the privatization of state-run carrier TAP Air Portugal alleging that the potential buyer didn’t meet the financial conditions, but was forced to sell state-run airport operator ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal SA, for € 3.08 billion ($4.07 billion).

The privatization of government run assets is part a program Portugal agreed to undertake in May 2011 to secure a €78 billion bailout package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

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