16 OCTOBER 2002

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Verheugen to speak to Super One – on his turf

Outcry rang from the offices of Super One television recently when EU Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen refused an invitation to be interviewed at what is widely regarded as an EU-hostile medium.

However, the EU Delegation told The Malta Financial and Business Times yesterday that it has written to Super One, informing the Malta Labour Party-run station that Verheugen would be making himself avaliable to the station when he visits Malta next week – but on his own conditions.

EU delegation head Ronald Gallimore explained yesterday that Verheugen is to hold a press conference in Malta and that he would be at the disposal of all the media for interviews on a one to one basis. He adds that Super One would be able to ask the commissioner whatever it likes both during and after the press conference.

Ronald Gallimore, who has been serving as the EU’s man in Malta since January 2001, also said that Verheugen is scheduled to appear on the popular Xarabank weekly talk show. He explains that the choice of programme is due not only to the fact that it is the most popular programme in Malta, but also because the show’s wide-ranging audience participation levels would allow everyone to ask questions about the EU.

"Surely there would be people who could speak in favour and against European accession. Yes, the Malta Labour Party boycotts the programme but one could not consider the programme as a political one. If one starts looking at the politics behind the programme, then there would be no place where to carry out such a far reaching dialogue."

The EU’s representative in Malta said that the fact that Xarabank is a dialogue programme makes it easier for everyone involved to get all the information they want, unlike in a one to one scenario.

Last January the Malta Labour Party decided to steer clear of Where’s Everybody media productions. The National executive of the Labour Party decided unanimously that Labour MPs, officials, general and local election candidates and party members will stop taking part in the media productions of the Where’s Everybody partnership.

The Labour Party accuses this partnership of being an integral part of the Nationalist Party’s communications strategy, which pushes the party’s agenda in programmes such as Bondiplus, Xarabank and Viva Malta.


Copyright © Network Publications Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07, Malta
Tel: (356) 21382741-3, 21382745-6 | Fax: (356) 21385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt