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Posted On: 16 March 2009 08:38 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Concern over Sarkozy statement

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The Doha Centre for Media Freedom in a statement yesterday expressed shock over French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s comment that he would not renew the contract of the current head of Radio France, which includes all the country’s public radio stations. After a law was passed that allows the president to hire and fire the heads of public broadcasting companies, Sarkozy told journalists on the plane home from an official visit to Rome on February 24 that he would not renew Jean-Paul Cluzel’s contract when it runs out in May. It was already unusual for the media to learn the news in this way, before any consultation procedure, but Sarkozy went further by giving the reasons for his decision, according to the Doha Centre. “It’s ridiculous”, he said. “Cluzel does exactly as he pleases and allows himself to be manipulated by the Left and the unions,” the centre said. “The French President is claiming the right to decide what sort of humour is acceptable on public radio. That shows leanings towards the sort of government that has nothing to do with democracy,” said the Doha Centre.