Tensions flare between BHRT and FTV Directors on N1 over revenue distribution and legal disputes

NEWS 27.05.202418:54 0 komentara

Problems within the Public Broadcasting Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina show no sign of ending. Members of the Independent Trade Union of Workers in BHRT are announcing warning protests for Tuesday, followed by the use of all legal means to achieve their rights. Meanwhile, there is still no agreement with FTV on the distribution of revenue from the RTV tax. General directors of BHRT and FTV, Belmin Karamehmedovic and Dzemal Sabic, spoke to N1.

At the beginning of the conversation, Karamehmedovic shared his side of the story.

“We sued RTRS for every mark they owe us. We tried to find a solution in agreement with EP BiH. The money collected was deposited into FTV's account, which is not in accordance with the law; the law stipulates a single account. During this time, RTV FBiH transferred 50 percent of the tax as defined by law. They retained the other 50 percent and spent it, although it should be distributed according to the contract. This is understandable because RTRS also does not transfer funds, but this was a way to try to save these two public services,” he said.

“After six years, we calculated that the surplus revenue for RTRS was nearly 57 million KM, FTV 22 million KM, and BHRT had a deficit of 79 million KM. Our proposal was to see how we could help until we determine what to do with RTRS. We proposed distributing the collected funds between ourselves and accounting for RTRS's debt reduction towards both services,” Karamehmedovic emphasized.

Dzemal Sabic stated that BHRT's management terminated the contract unilaterally.

“I cannot understand the logic; we have been sitting together for the past two months. The problem began when BHRT's management unilaterally terminated a contract that was valid until 31.12. We are being urged to change circumstances concerning the legally defined way of collecting the tax. The contract existed jointly. Things become completely illogical and break down regarding logic in the business world,” explained Sabic, adding:

“We have the right to charge RTRS and sue them. In the Federation of BiH, we cannot change the law through our agreement. That is illegal. You cannot agree that VAT between two entities is 14 percent when it is 17 percent in every business segment.”

“We proposed a transitional solution”

Karamehmedovic said that BHRT proposed a transitional solution in accordance with the law.

“Of the total 371 million from 2017 to today, by law, half should belong to BHRT. The method of collecting the tax, with payments going to FTV, is illegal. We proposed a transitional solution in accordance with the law until we decide what to do with the 25 percent from RTRS, to see how we can share the money.”

“What is in the interest of the workers? To sink month by month? To allow FTV to continue collecting 50 percent? I want us to get the money we earned. FTV wants us to get 50 percent, and they also want 50 percent, which is not legal,” he added, concluding, “The money was transferred to FTV's account, which is against the law.”

Sabic then stated that Karamehmedovic committed a “media wrongdoing.”

“You have dragged things down, as a song would say – ‘Straight to the bottom.’ I offered you a series of internal agreements between the two houses where you would get more funds than you are entitled to in order to help BHRT's people.

Belmin Karamehmedovic, as the head of the state television, which previously shut down the channel of another state television, is committing serious media wrongdoing. Now they are trying to deny this wrongdoing and rationalize it. Debts have existed since the public services were established, but FTV settled the debts completely in 2020, for the first time since the public services existed,” he emphasized, adding:

“Belmin cut off the water and now seeks a glass of water. It can't work without a supply.”

Karamehmedovic responded that there is a campaign against BHRT on the Public Service and said he is ready to resign once the problem is resolved.

“There is a campaign on the Public Service; these people shoot us every night in the news. They said that we, along with Dodik, are destroying the state. I spent the entire war here, the president of my board, his son and father were killed in the genocide. We are being labeled as collaborators with Dodik in destroying BHRT. Let my colleague say where he was during the war! They are blackmailing us. We stopped providing services after warning four times that we could not work for free. We did nothing wrong; we are being forced to agree to go into debt.

I am now publicly stating that as soon as we solve this problem, I will resign. The only solution is 50/25/25, according to the law. We cannot allow a debt of 80 million KM.”

Sabic responded that the problem could be resolved tonight.

“I repeat, there is a contract that Belmin can sign tonight, and EP and FTV will sign it. It is a contract that guarantees 3 million KM and 330 thousand for May will be in the account the next day, and we will return all the money that was not paid since he terminated the tax,” to which Karamehmedovic replied:

“We cannot sign an illegal contract. You claimed to have recorded the money, but you did not.”

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