Canal 5 and Maestro FM Remain Temporarily off the Air After a New Decision by the Council for Promoting Investment Projects

A new decision of the Council for Promoting Investment Projects of National Importance deprives the company which owns several media service providers without permissive documents. It is the owner of the Canal 5 TV channel and the Maestro FM radio station. The decision was taken during the meeting held on March 20, according to a press release from the Government.

According to the source, the Council for Promoting Investment Projects of National Importance decided to temporarily suspend the validity of the permissive documents of Media Content Distribution, the company which owns the two stations, as a preventive step. The decision was made “after stating reasonable suspicions regarding the involvement of the company’s beneficial owners in the activities which affect the security of the state.”

The government specifies that the Investment Agency received 40 dossiers in order to provide preliminary approval of investments important for state security which were filed to the Council members for analysis and presentation. As to the four other companies, their broadcasting licenses were withdrawn based on their own requests. The Council members presented their opinions regarding 8 dossiers, and the rest are to be examined at the next meetings of the Council.

The decision refers to the new mechanism identified by the authorities and related to suspending TV channels’ licenses which was legislated by the Parliament after adopting the legislative amendment in last November and December which became publicly known on the New Year’s Eve. In late 2023, on the basis of this procedure, six companies which owned TV channels whose licenses were suspended during the state of emergency were deprived of permissive documents.

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