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The last hearing of the TNT commission of inquiry ends in a mocking atmosphere

2024-03-28 18:11:00
From left to right, former French ministers of culture, Rima Abdul Malak, Roselyne Bachelot, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres and Jacques Toubon, at the National Assembly, in Paris, Thursday March 28, 2024. STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP

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Four months of commission of inquiry into the allocation of TNT frequencies, forty-four hearings, ideologically oriented or imprecise questions, controversies… and ten minutes which will remain as the most ironic of the entire sequence. It was approaching 5 p.m., Thursday March 28, when, after two hours of discussions with five former ministers of culture, MP Constance Le Grip (Renaissance, Hauts-de-Seine) wanted to know the opinion of Rima Abdul Malak (2022-2024) on the hypothesis of common governance for public audiovisual companies. Announced since 2017, having fallen into the limbo of the crisis linked to Covid-19, the project to unite the forces of Radio France and France Télévisions has, in fact, resurfaced with Rachida Dati.

“I came to the conclusion that this holding prior to a merger (or not) was not essential, explained Rima Abdul Malak, repeating a conviction from which she has never deviated. That connections were possible from below (…)by setting fairly precise objectives in the objectives and means contracts [les feuilles de route des entreprises de l’audiovisuel public] and a packaged envelope. » Not exactly the response hoped for by the president of the commission, Quentin Bataillon (Renaissance, Loire), who, on Sunday March 24, co-signed with Senator Laurent Lafon (UDI, Val-de-Marne), in La Tribune Sunday, a text to call for the creation of a “common structure, which could be called France Médias”.

Was Roselyne Bachelot (2020-2022) going to offer him the support he expected? “The cost of management savings brought about by holding companies has been a long time coming! laughed, a blue duster on the lapel of her jacket, Roselyne Bachelot (…) We’re going to buy a great building, which we’re going to populate with a president who will have a company car (…). And we’ll set it all ablaze! »

« A placebo »

Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, minister of culture between 2004 and 2007, continued: “The war is in Europe, a principal is forced to leave his position, we are in a period of essential gravity. (…) Let’s get back to the essential and the urgency, it is the fire in hearts and minds, it is not in the structural debates. »

The final blow came from Jacques Toubon, 82 years old (1993-1995): “My colleagues said exactly what needed to be said. (…) Or it means (…) that we prefer to bring to all these sometimes difficult and painful questions a placebo which would be called fusion. »

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