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Financial support for Catalan digital media threatened by Madrid

There was “no better business” during the past years than launching a website supporting independence, says Spanish government

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05 December 2017 02:58 PM

by

ACN | Madrid

The Spanish government takeover of the Catalan administration left the continuity of subsidies for digital media in the Catalan language uncertain. The State Secretary for Territorial Administrations, Roberto Bermúdez de Castro, said on Monday that the executive is “working intensely” in order to extend the Catalan government budget, and “the only subsidy we’re reviewing is that for digital media in Catalan [language]”.

“There was no better business during these past four years in Catalonia than launching a website supporting the [independence] process in order to earn a subsidy,” said Bermúdez de Castro. He accused these sites of telling “lies” and using “post-truth”. The measure, according to him, would not affect “traditional media”.

Article 155 "not disproportionate"

The Spanish government used Article 155 of the Constitution to impose direct rule on Catalonia following a declaration of independence on October 27. Bermúdez de Castro dismissed claims of such a measure being disproportionate and stressed that even top officials from pro-independence parties are abiding by Article 155.

Madrid’s initial plans were to use Article 155 to take control of Catalonia’s public media too, but the measure was finally withdrawn following talks with the Spanish Socialists party.

A joint manifesto against interferences

During the last months, journalists and news outlets in Catalonia have been in the eye of the storm. On Monday, a joint manifesto promoted by the Association of Journalists of Catalonia demanded to put an end to political and judicial interferences that "threaten freedom of speech and information."

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  • State Secretary for Territorial Administrations, Roberto Bermúdez de Castro, second from right (by ACN)