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Bosnia's Public Broadcaster To Close If Fresh Funding Not Found

Bosnia-Herzegovina's debt-ridden public broadcaster, BHRT, has announced it will go off the air at the end of June unless the government and parliament can solve its funding problems.

In a statement on June 3, it urged the Bosnian authorities to urgently take measures to prevent their country from becoming the only European state without an active national public-service broadcaster.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which counts BHRT as a member, voiced "deep concern" over the situation.

The BHRT is funded by license fees collected as part of telephone bills. However, the collection has been in decline for years as Bosnians increasingly cancel fixed phone lines and switch to mobile phones.

The BHRT owes the EBU some 5.5 million euros ($6.2 million).

Parliament is due to debate a new law on the collection of license fees for the public broadcaster on June 15.

Based on reporting by AP