French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he will no longer finance the English-language edition of news channel France 24. Sarkozy told a press conference that he was no longer prepared to use taxpayers’ money to broadcast a channel that doesn’t speak French.
The position is distinctly different from the position taken by Sarkozy’s predecessor Jacques Chirac, who was happy to see France 24 launch in its current format in December 2006, to give a French perspective on the world. The channel broadcasts in French, English and Arabic with plans to add a Spanish language version.
Last November, Sarkozy was presented with a proposal by Jean-David Levitte and Georges-Marc Benamou that proposed the three international French broadcasters, TV5 Monde, France 24 and Radio France International, should come under a single holding company, but remain as separate entities.
It seems that Sarkozy is prepared to accept the recommendations with a new channel, France Monde, launching “as soon as possible, at any rate, this year.”
The President said it was reasonable to have subtitling in Spanish, Arabic, English, in order to deliver a vision that was more French.