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Establishment Of A Parliamentary Committee Of Inquiry Into The State's Relationship With The Media And, In Particular, To The Government On The Purchase Of Tvi

Original Language Title: Constituição de uma Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito à relação do Estado com a comunicação social e, nomeadamente, à actuação do Governo na compra da TVI

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1. In the parliamentary debate on June 24, 2009, the Prime Minister, respondent on the

eventual intervention by the state in the proposed purchase of TVI by PT, allegedly for

conditioning its editorial line, stated that " i nothing i have to do with editorial lines, much less

of TVI. I have already said everything I had to say about TVI. The Government gives no guidance nor has it received any

type of information on business that take into account the strategic prospects of PT ".

2. At the end of the same debate, in statements to the media, the Prime Minister

added on the PT's proposal for the purchase of TVI: " Nothing I know of it, it's private business and

the state does not get into these business. I am not even informed of this, nor is the state aware of it

of this ".

3. On the November 13 of the same year, in declarations at the exit of a ceremony at the CCB, the

Prime Minister stated about the same case: " One thing is of course to discuss, as

friends, as I did, regarding news that is published in newspapers and informal knowledge; another

thing is, as I said in Parliament, as Prime Minister, the official knowledge and the prior knowledge

of that business. In relation to that business I have nothing to add or the withdrawing r ".

4. On the February 9, 2010, responding to news on the same subject, the First-

Minister stated that " All those who refer to a link between Government and PT with regard to the

intention of the PT to buy Prisa are missing the truth ". He added further: " I keep it all the

that said in Parliament. And I want to say again that never the Government has given any guidance to Portugal


Telecom to buy no television station ", and that" This was totally independent of the will of the

Government ".

5. These responses have been contradicted, particularly by various personalities involved

in the editorial direction of TVI to the time of the tender offer by the PT.

6. PT leaders have also spoken out publicly about the strategic interest of the

company in the purchase of TVI, giving later account that they would have communicated to the Government a

realization of the operation.

7. To Parliament, which has the constitutional competence of monitoring the performance of the

Government, compete to clarify whether there was Government intervention in the decision of the PT or of

any other company from negotiating the purchase of TVI, if such an eventual intervention behaves

also the intention to condition the editorial line or the orientation of the television station, and

if in this business the state disrespected the relationship of independence with the groups of

social communication that the Constitution establishes.

8. In fact, the state competes, in the terms of the Constitution, to ensure " the freedom and the

independence of the organs of the media in the face of political power and economic power, (...) treating them and

supporting them (the companies holding social media bodies) in a non-discriminatory manner " (CRP,

article 38º, 6). It is a fundamental duty of the state, and therefore its violation constitutes-

if of enormous gravity.

9. Thus, the clarification is imposed that only the Parliament is in a position to determine, by

route of inquiry, and which constitutes the only instance of political appreciation that can ascertain the

Truth about the enormous doubt that is placed on the action of the Government in this matter.

10. The activity of monitoring the activity of the Government by the Parliament is without prejudice, not

overlaps with and does not interfere with any possible judicial investigations. The clearance of

judicial responsibilities compete with the courts and the principle of separation of powers

determines, sensibly, the non-intervention of Parliament in matters of the foro of Justice.


11. On the other hand, it is public that there is no process of judicial inquiry into the

subjects that are the subject of this parliamentary inquiry. And if it comes to exist it will be about matter

criminal and non-political, for what concerne the political surveillance of the activity of the

Government does not compete for Justice.

12. There is therefore no obstacle to parliamentary inquiry, and this becomes necessary

to clarify public opinion on whether there was or if there was no intervention from the Government

in the purchase operation of TVI.

So, the undersigned deputies and MPs come to apply for your Excellency the President of the

Assembly of the Republic, under the provisions of paragraph 2 (b) of Article 2º of Law No. 5/93 of March 1,

republished after the second amendment introduced by Law No. 15/2007 of April 3, the constitution of a

The Eventual Commission of Parliamentary Inquiry to appreciate the state's relationship with the media and the

respect for the principle of the independence of the media in the face of political power and, specifically, of the

performance of the Government in the purchase operation of TVI.

The Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry, which should operate by the shortest time permitting

to fulfil its responsibility, shall have per object:

a) Apurar if the Government, directly or indirectly, has intervened in the operation leading to the

purchase of TVI and, if it did so, in what way and with what objectives;

b) Apurar if the Prime Minister told the truth to Parliament, in Session

Plenary of June 24, 2009;

Palace of S. Bento, February 26, 2010