HANDOUT - 28.08.2022, Bayern, Nürnberg: Markus Söder (r), CSU-Vorsitzender und bayerischer Ministerpräsident, wird in der Reihe der ZDF Sommerinterviews von Shakuntala Banerjee im Germanischen nationalmuseum befragt. Foto: Daniel Karmann/ZDF/dpa - ACHTUNG: Nur zur redaktionellen Verwendung im Zusammenhang mit der aktuellen Berichterstattung und nur mit vollständiger Nennung des vorstehenden Credits +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

What certainly triggered the crisis at Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB): An intensified debate about the structure and constitution of public broadcasting and its financing. Politicians from the conservative circle in particular want to lead the discussion with a mixture of justified criticism and unjustified populism.

The most recent example is Bavaria’s CSU Prime Minister Markus Söder. The CSU politician told the “Bild” newspaper that at this turning point in time, in which all costs were exploding, one had to think about “freezing the broadcasting fees at the current level”. It is important to avoid additional burdens for the citizens. So far it is unclear whether the broadcasting fee could increase at all in the future. The phase in which the altitude is calculated in a complex process has not yet begun. How exactly Söder imagines such a freeze and what that would mean in detail, he did not say. When asked by the dpa, the Bavarian State Chancellery referred to the newspaper interview.

On Friday, the finance committee KEF in the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt emphasized the role of politics in broadcasting reforms. KEF member and State Court of Auditors President Kay Barthel said to politicians with regard to the amount of broadcasting fees: “You have to know what you are ordering.” It is economically impossible to rule out increases in fees and at the same time leave everything as it is Reiner Haseloff told the “Welt am Sonntag” that an increase in contributions would hardly be possible in the foreseeable future. The CDU politician had placed this in the context of the current crisis at the RBB around nepotism.

The Berlin CDU and parliamentary group leader Kai Wegner had suspended the increase in the broadcasting fee from the current EUR 18.36 in the “Tagesspiegel am Sonntag”. Literally, he said: “What must not exist is a higher broadcasting fee.” Anyone who is still seriously talking about an increase in fees is “definitely out of place”.