As the European Commission prepares to take Spain before the European Court of Justice, the beneficiary of the controversial Telco Tax says the money raised is insufficient. Public broadcaster RTVE, whose loss of advertising revenue is designed to be compensated for by the tax, says the amount received has been calculated on net rather than gross revenues.
Private channels are required to pay 3% of revenues, while the figure for telcos (including cable operator Ono) should pay 0.9%.
RTVE president Alberto Oliart yesterday told his governing body that a €63.5 million shortfall in the money raised during 2010 would leave the broadcaster almost €50 million in the red. Oliart proposed selling on the rights to October’s World Motorcycling Championships with commercial broadcaster Telecinco already declaring itself to be a willing recipient.
On Monday the European Commission will commence legal proceedings against the Spanish government. The Commission considers that the rate is incompatible with EU standards in telecommunications.
Last month Presidency minister Ramón Jáuregui met Commissioner Neelie Kroes in a bid to calm the dispute. The Spanish government has offered to reduce the tax, a scenario that would not be welcomed by RTVE’s finance department.