New President for Romanian Public Television

By Iulia Blaga

    BUCHAREST: Claudiu Săftoiu was elected as the president/general manager of Romanian Public TV by a Parliamentary vote of 265 to 5 on 2 July 2012.

    An earlier attempt at the election, on 26 June, failed due to the lack of a quorum.

    The former president Alexandru Lăzescu, who had served since June 2010, was dismissed after the Parliament rejected the 2011 annual report of Romanian public television (www.tvr.ro) for 2011 on 12 June 2012. Radu Călin Cristea had been the interim manager until a new president/general manager was chosen.

    Săftoiu was nominated by the National Liberal Party (PNL) for a four years mandate. He was adviser of the president Traian Băsescu between 2004 and 2006, and chief of Foreign Intelligence Service (www.sie.ro) between 2006 and 2007.

    Romanian public television has been undergoing years of financial difficulties. Its debts have been increasing since 2005, and the National Administration for Fiscal Administration (www.anaf.ro) blocked its accounts on 21 May 21. The deficit was €36.7 million Euro in 2011, a slight drop of 0.71% compared with 2010.

    Săftoiu promised upon election to start an audit in order to issue an upgraded strategy, and to keep the institution out of political matters.