A month ago, the French economy ministry approved the sale of the Euronews channel.
As soon as the time had come, the new owners entered into a partnership with Saudi Arabia.
The management justifies this with financial problems, the editors protest.
The cooperation violates EU regulations.
Brussels subsidizes the “Voice of Europe”.
Under the Egyptian owner Naguib Sawiris, Euronews had made annual losses in the tens of millions – in 2021 it was another seventeen million euros.
Sawiri's governor in Lyon, where the studios are located and four hundred journalists work, made it clear to the editorial team, which was shaken by austerity measures and layoffs, that the broadcaster was bankrupt.
The review of the sale by the Ministry of Economics took longer than planned.
Approval was granted in mid-May, and the takeover is expected to be completed in July.
There are many reservations about the new owner Alpac Capital.
The investment company has no media experience and is run by the sons of a former national coach and a European politician who once advised José Manuel Barroso.
You have political and business ties to Victor Orbán.
But they deny any dependence or even sympathy for the Hungarian head of government.
The new owners are committed to democracy, Europe and diversity of opinion.
With Guillaume Dubois, they have appointed an experienced journalist as editor-in-chief.
Dubois has been in charge since June 9th.
A few days before he took office, Euronews launched a new magazine: “Inspire Saudia”.
It tells of the sweet life in Saudi Arabia with paradisiacal images.
Euronews is also available as an advertising channel for other countries.
Surprisingly enough, the PR program Qatar 365 was not objected to by the French authorities - but they obviously only cared about economic issues.
France maintains close ties with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The deal with the Saudis suggests that Euronews is in financial trouble.
Saudi Arabia is a bad omen: Euronews as a news channel that can be received in 160 countries and advertises business and holidays in dictatorships?
This is how the last reserves of the most important capital – journalistic credibility – are used up.
The editors protest.
The only assurance they received: anyone who doesn't want to work on "Inspire Saudia" doesn't have to fear any disadvantages.
In their letter of protest, which is available in "La Lettre A", the journalists refer to the complaint by "Reporters Without Borders" against the kingdom and its ruler Mohammed bin Salman.
It reads "crimes against humanity".
The regime is responsible for the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.
The change of ownership in Lyon was something of a last chance for Euronews.
With the false start she becomes playful.
If the PR programs for Qatar and Saudi Arabia are not stopped, the EU has no other choice: it must cancel the 16 million euro subsidy immediately.Keywords: