Decision on staffing costs in Saxony-Anhalt postponed | Free press


Magdeburg (dpa) – The planned increase in the radio license fee for January 1, 2021 is still on the verge for all of Germany due to an impending veto in Saxony-Anhalt.

The media commission in the state parliament of Magdeburg has postponed a groundbreaking recommendation for a resolution until next Wednesday (December 9). The background is a dispute in the black-red-green coalition. The recommendation is expected to lead the way for the planned final vote in the state parliament in mid-December. So far, it seems that the CDU and AfD, as opponents of the increase from EUR 17.50 to EUR 18.36, could form a majority – with implications for all other federal states.

The state treaty can only enter into force by unanimity of all countries, and only if all parliaments have reached a decision by the end of December. If only one country deviates, the amendment to the state treaty will not come into effect – the monthly broadcast fee remains 17.50 euros. The contract would then be off the table and in theory would have to be renegotiated. Unlike the other states, Saxony-Anhalt is considered a shaky candidate. Most agree or have indicated that they will.

With the adjournment in the media committee, the black-red-green coalition is also gaining time to find a way out of a bitter dispute about the amount of the contribution. A premature departure from the coalition was thus prevented for the time being. There will be state elections next year. The CDU wants to vote against the contribution – the SPD and the Greens are in favor. If they fail to reach an agreement, a separate vote in the media committee is likely to lead to an early end to the coalition. A possible CDU-AfD veto in the state parliament sees other parties at the federal level as a breach of the CDU’s dam to the right.

Several proposals from the coalition groups are now on the table. They range from approval to EUR 18.36 in conjunction with a resolution calling on state governments to address structural problems facing public broadcasters. This proposal comes from the SPD group. At the other end of the spectrum is the CDU proposal: the state government must repeal the bill for the state treaty – that would amount to a veto of $ 18.36, only that the state parliament does not have to vote on it at all. The CDU also wants to work towards an additional notification and renegotiation whether a deviation from the 18.36 euros proves necessary because of the corona pandemic. However, several other states have already rejected renegotiations.

The question is whether the Kenyan coalition can still come. Immediately after the media commission meeting, Markus Kurz, spokesman for the media policy of the CDU faction, responded to the question from the German news agency whether he could rule out the possibility that he would vote for an increase in the fee next week with: “Yes.” The CDU refers in its position to the coalition agreement, which speaks of stable contributions to the broadcaster.

The premium would rise again to 18.36 euros for the first time since 2009. An independent commission – called KEF – had calculated the 86 cents premium increase. A funding gap of approximately € 1.5 billion between 2021 and 2024 is predicted for the funding of the public broadcasters. ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio, for which the broadcasting fee is the main source of income, report their needs to a KEF at intervals. The body created by the state treaty then checks for austerity – and cuts out a number of things. The broadcasters registered a demand that was about twice as high. If the KEF experts had accepted that, the result would have been 19.24 euros.