A magical limit for a referendum reached. Former media minister steps on the brakes.
|Photo: Britta Gut|
The online petition rettetukw.ch has now reached 50,000 signatures which - albeit with a full address - are needed in Switzerland for a referendum. This is a clear and impressive statement from consumers, according to the initiator and Radio 1 boss Roger Schawinski: FM must stay. Shutting down all channels soon would have dramatic effects and would be a huge mistake. This opinion is now also shared by former Federal Councilor Doris Leuthard, who, as Media Minister in 2016, strongly advocated a shutdown. Now she demands a longer “march stop”.
It has been shown, Leuthard told Radio 1, that DAB+ did not establish itself as quickly as it had assumed when it was decided to switch it off at the time.
Following a motion by National Councilor Philippe Kutter (Die Mitte), the Telecommunications Commission of the National Council will take up this issue at short notice and has planned a hearing in August.
With his petition, Schawinski is calling on Media Minister Simonetta Sommaruga, the media authority BAKOM and the public broadcaster SRG to reverse the planned shutdown of all FM (UKW) stations in Switzerland, as hundreds of thousands of drivers without access to Swiss stations and would have to switch to cross-border radio stations.
Switzerland is the only country in Europe switching off FM radio (In Norway local radio still broadcast on FM). Schawinski predicts that the decision will be “chaotic” and will therefore continue to collect signatures. (persoenlich.com, nzz.ch)