RAI’s raise for Fazio spurs outcry – English


(ANSA) – Rome, June 26 – Criticism from across the political
spectrum has been raging in Italy over a sky-high salary granted
by state broadcaster RAI for the popular television host Fabio
Fazio.
   
The RAI board said earlier this month that stars like Bruno
Vespa and Fazio would not be covered by a new 240,000-euro wage
ceiling, but that their pay would be cut by 10%.
   
However, as Democratic Party (PD) MP and member of the RAI
watchdog authority Michele Anzaldi said in a Facebook post, “in
order to justify the super-raise for Fazio, of 50% more and thus
to almost 12 million euros as well as a contract for his
production company worth another 11 million euros, RAI board
members said that the company could not deprive itself of such
an important resource.”
“Company sources,” he added, said that “on June 25 – and not
denied by RAI – that Fazio had already signed a contract with
La7, and thus that the huge raise was to ward off a loss to
their competitor. Today, however, La7 said that no official
offer had even been made.”
And thus, they “did not only not comply with a law on a
240-000-euro limit, voted on by parliament, they even went
against their own directive approved a week ago that announced a
reduction of at least 10%.”
The head of the centre-right Forza Italia in the Lower House,
Renato Brunetta, added that “what was decided on Friday by the
RAI board on the super-high salary for Fabio Fazio is
unacceptable, against the law and morally indefensible amid an
enduring economic crisis that all citizens – who pay State
broadcaster fees – have to struggle against on a daily basis.”
The chair of the parliamentary RAI watchdog, Roberto Fico of
the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), highlighted what
he called the double standard of a “Communist” like Fazio
trading himself to the highest bidder in the media market place.
   
Thr row was even said to have contributed to the centre
left’s defeat in Sunday’s mayoral run-offs in many Italian
cities and towns.
   

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