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Radio boss slams Junta for shutting popular station

PUBLISHED: March 16, 2013 at 10:00 am  •  LAST EDITED: March 16, 2013 at 10:29 am
Andalucia, Lead  •  16 Comments


Radio boss slams Junta for shutting popular station

• Radio stations in Spain are being forced to close


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THE chairman of a leading radio station in Spain has hit out at the government for the recent closure of Coastline FM.

In an open letter to Jose Manuel Soria Lopez, the ministry for industry, energy and tourism, Martin Nathan, chairman of Talk Radio Europe, slams the Junta for forcing the closure of Coastline FM-one of the longest running on the Costa del Sol.

The Olive Press recently reported how the 24-year-old radio station had been forced to close down earlier this month after being ordered to stop transmitting by the Junta.

It is thought the move was made because the station did not have a terrestrial broadcasting license.

In the scathing letter, Mr Nathan accuses the Junta of ‘increasing unemployment’ and adding to the ‘burden on social security’ by allowing viable businesses, like Coastline FM, to close down.

He goes on to state that many of these radio stations boost tourism and are ‘essential to the well-being’ of the community they serve.

He criticises the introduction of the Audiovisual Communications Act in 2010 which left scores of radio stations, mostly serving the English speaking communities, unlicensed and unlawful over night.

He said: “As the law stands independent radio stations are being shut down without ever having the opportunity to regularise their situation-an act that is constitutionally indefensible”

He added: “We urge the government to act quickly to reverse this unfair law and prevent further avoidable unemployment and misery.”

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michael borowy

March 16th, 2013 2:35 pm

Yes it’s a shame it has come to this..it was a very good station…but then…come on.. what do you really expect here…on one hand they want increased tourism and ex-pats to come ,live here and spend all their money in the local economies..eg..having a house built,food,clothing etc etc…and then they do their utmost to throw a spanner in the works!!!.I’m used to this by now and hearing horror stories from other ex-pats!!…no wonder this country is in such a mess…they couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery!!!.Don’t get me wrong..the local Spanish people are great..haven’t met a bad egg yet…it’s just those little Hitlers in government that are a problem.

Tony

March 16th, 2013 4:06 pm

Its a shame for the people who work at CoastlineXFM but maybe this is the kick up the backsides some expats need to go out and learn the language of the country they are living in and start listening to their local Spanish radio station.

Who knows they might even like the foreign music.

ad

March 16th, 2013 5:33 pm

It is a minefield out there if you are foreign….. in reality the Spaniards are jealous and resent all foreigners….they are tolerated because they spend money but that is about all…. How many foreign owned companies have Spanish clients…? I worked here for over twenty years…100% fluent in Spanish…yet could count Spanish firms / clients on the fingers of one hand….So in short no surprise about the closing down of this station….Had it been a Spanish station they would have been given time to get the papers in order…. and on the other hand… why was this station operating without having at least put the documents in motion…so…. ???????????

Lenox

March 17th, 2013 10:42 am

One always fondly imagines that Spanish power-brokers and politicians will read these stories and the comments that go with them. Perhaps, we say to ourselves, they will see what is happening on the street, wake the hell up and stop trashing and bankrupting this country we all love.
They won’t.

Bill

March 17th, 2013 9:38 pm

Question!!!! would you broadcast in britian without the correct papers? i don’t think so, it’s only a matter of time for any other station who are don’t have all the right papers.

Brigitte

March 18th, 2013 12:29 am

“He criticises the introduction of the Audiovisual Communications Act in 2010 which left scores of radio stations, mostly serving the English speaking communities, unlicensed and unlawful over night.”

Really? It looks to me, as though they had 3 years to get their paperwork in order.

Mike

March 18th, 2013 10:13 am

As anyone in the English radio scene knows, it is impossible to get a radio broadcasting licence from the Spanish authorities, in fact there are over 18,000 unlicenced radio stations in Spain of all nationalities, mostly Spanish simply because the Spanish authorities have never got their act together!

Steve

March 18th, 2013 10:42 am

Why just Coast ? Have other stations been forced off air ?

barry mitchell

March 19th, 2013 11:40 am

Around seven years ago ALL “illegal” stations in Spain were given the opportunity to apply for a Licence.Each applicant had to lodge €30,000 euros and REM who I was presenting for at the time did exactly this.In fact I was there in the Notaries when it was lodged.We considered this a smart move at the time and hoped that our competitors would not be in a position to do the same.Though REM doesnt exist now, any station that did lodge an application was assured of entitlement to broadcast until a licence was granted or otherwise.To my knowledge the situation is still ongoing. However,it suggests to me that Coastline,and probably other stations, did not apply when they had the opportunity and therefore missed an opportunity to at least secure the right to broadcast in the meantime.In retrospect REM took the right action and would have been in a very strong position had the station continued.

pg

March 19th, 2013 2:28 pm

does this apply to TRE mitch? which obviously the son of REM?

Andrew Charles

March 20th, 2013 1:25 pm

You beat me to it Barry mate. What you DIDN’T point out though was that the 30,000 was just to apply for the licence and didn’t guarantee you would get one. In actual fact The authorities did not grant the licence AND THEY KEPT THE MONEY!

In fact I have it on fairly good authority that some 1500 stations paid 30,000 each and not one licence was issued nor was any of the money returned! I’m no mathematician but that sounds to me like a 45 million euro government scam just to take money from foreigners!

Just sayin’…

barry mitchell

March 21st, 2013 10:41 am

Hi pg,I dont think the applications were transferable.I say this because I suggested to Boland that we transfer it to ITalk but this could not be done as he had not put any money up personally.REM(which Boland did not own) put €5000 and I put up the rest straight from my late mothers will!
Andrew is correct that there were no guarantees but the advantage being that applicants remained untouchable until descision time which I believe is still ongoing.In REM,s case the money was/is (last time I checked) kept in a local bank which is probably the case for all applicants.It is still under REM.

John

March 21st, 2013 7:42 pm

COASTLINE FM BACK ON AIR ON 92.6FM Trust they have clearance from the Junta, wouldn’t like to think a respectable station is ignoring Spanish law. No statement anywhere from the station so assume all’s not as it should be.

pg

March 21st, 2013 11:40 pm

thanks mitch,nice to hear from you . keep in touch.

antonio2

March 22nd, 2013 1:56 pm

I think we need to hear from Martin Nathan as to whether or not the 30,000e was deposited in expectation of a licence.
But irrespective, I have little faith in the intentions or integrity of the Junta. Let’s face it, they just don’t care!! they have their nice cosy offices and a fat cheques coming in, plus no doubt adequate backhanders, why should they?

barry mitchell

March 23rd, 2013 12:01 pm

Hi Antonio2.This all took place 2 to 3 years before Martin Nathan came on the scene but I can assure you that the €30,000 was deposited as I still have the transfer reciept from a Bank in Wales for the €25,000 I supplied and I was a witness at the notaries when the bond was notarised.REM were strapped for cash as the original backers refused to give Boland any more money and,as usual,he had none of his own.HOWEVER,I have only recently sent an email to Martin Nathan suggesting that he tries to get the bond switched to TRE and I would help all I could. I have yet to hear from him but he may have already thought of it!




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