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Germany to institute mandatory TV licence fee for 2013
June 24, 2010
Germany will change the licence fee for public TV and radio broadcasters into a flat-rate universal household payment. This decision was made by the prime ministers of the federal states on June 9 in Berlin.
The payment obligation, which has been subject to the existence of a suitable reception device in a household, will thereby be turned into a fee which has to be paid independent of the existence, type and number of reception devices. The new scheme will come into force on January 1 2013, until then the current system will remain intact.
Through the change, ARD, ZDF and national public radio broadcaster Deutschlandradio will be put in line with cultural and educational institutions such as schools, universities and theatres for which every citizen has to pay a contribution – whether they use them or not.
In May, Paul Kirchhof, a former judge at the German Constitutional Court, presented the results of a study commissioned by public broadcasters ARD and ZDF in which he recommended this scheme as a practicable model which would be in accordance with the German constitution. The exact figure of the new fee still has to be determined, but it is already clear that it won’t exceed the current level of €17.98 per month.
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