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Netherlands Sponsors Iranian Radio Station, Not TV

Source: Netherlands Info Services

THE HAGUE, 09/11/05 - Foreign Minister Bot is not donating money to the set-up of a TV satellite that is to provide Iran with independent news. He is however prepared to fund an independent radio station and two Internet newspapers, as well as a number of other projects.

Under pressure from the Lower House, Bot decided last June to allocate a maximum of 15 million euros to stimulate the Iranian media. A total of 48 project proposals were since received from 37 organisations. Bot cannot make public the names of organisations, the submitted proposals and other confidential information because of the "strong interest in preserving anonymity", he wrote the Lower House yesterday.

In allocating the subsidies, Bot decided "to finance only the project proposals" which satisfied quality standards. In total, he is subsidising "one independent radio station, two Internet magazines that are each focussed on a specific theme (democracy and women), and one project concerned with children's rights and media. Also receiving funds are a further seven projects which cover various media and will focus on training and furthering the abilities of Iranian journalists".

As Bot states, the projects will be implemented by "reputable organisations" in the field of free media. He believes "these activities aim to have a lasting impact on journalism in Iran". A total of 14.636.000 euros has been appropriated.

Leftwing Greens (GroenLinks) MP Karimi, born in Iran, is extremely disappointed that Bot is not subsidising a TV channel. She said the House had specifically urged this.

... Payvand News - 11/9/05 ... --

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