Labour Party spokesperson for media and social dialogue Gino Cauchi and Deputy leader Toni Abela expressed their indignation at Public Broadcasting Service's (PBS) actions following a directive issued by PBS requesting all political party representatives participating in the national broadcaster current affairs television programmes to be specifically chosen by the station itself.
In a statement PBS said that it refuses to acknowledge others than those invited for a current event programme. The issue arose when Bondiplus presenter Lou Bondi invited Charles Mangion, the PL spokesman on the economy for a programme on job creation, alongside Finance Minister Tonio Fenech. The PL wanted to send somebody else and PBS, however, refused and said its invitation was only made to Dr Mangion.
In its statement, PBS also pointed out that last year, the PL sent election candidates instead of its MPs for discussion programmes - and then the state broadcaster was criticised that more Nationalist MPs had appeared on television that Labour ones.
MP Gino Cauchi said the new directive does not make any sense. The Labour Party said it was unacceptable that PBS wanted to decide who should represent Labour on its programmes.
He added that while it was the prerogative of PBS to decide what subjects to tackle in its programmes, it should not decide who should represent the political parties taking part.
MP Cauchi said that in view of decisions taken by the Broadcasting Authority, the PL had no confidence in the leadership of PBS. He called on PBS not to try to create obstacles in an attempt to stop the PL from taking part in discussion programmes, especially now that election is around the corner.
He added that so far there had been no problems and PBS should not try to create any.
PL Deputy leader Toni Abela made it clear that the Labour Party will participate in all the discussion programmes.
He reiterated that there is no need to create all this controversary.
"We are not comfortable with PBS leadership's tactics of not giving PL a level playing field," he reiterated.