The Valencian cabinet headed by Francisco Camps (PP, Partido Popular, conservative Spanish nationalists) managed to fulfill one of its political obsessions: to put an end to broadcasting of Television of Catalonia, the public television of the autonomous community of Catalonia, in the Valencian Country, another Catalan-speaking land. A legislative amendment established a fine of 120,000 € per month imposed on Acció Cultural del País Valencià (ACPV, Cultural Action of the Valencian Country), the civic and cultural association that has been trying to set up relay stations across the country since 1984. ACPV's aim was to supply the Valencian territory (a Valencian/Catalan speaking land) with TV3, 3/24, 3XL and 33 TVC channels.
Freedom of expression under attack
The crusade against Television of Catalonia is not new. Several presidents of the Valencian Generalitat (government of the Valencian Country) have tried to close down the relay stations owned by ACPV in the last years, but Francisco Camps' cabinet has intensified legal proceedings against ACPV. Today, the association owes 600,000 € to the Valencian courts.
The relay stations were set up between 1984 and 1986 after 150,000 Valencian people donated money in a popular campaign launched by ACPV. TV3 was the first channel available in Catalan in the Valencian Country, for Valencia's own TV, Canal 9, did not start broadcasting until 1989.
ACPV launched a signatures campaign last year so that the Spanish Congress approved a law allowing reciprocal reception of autonomic channels in territories sharing the same language. The campaign gathered more than 650,000 signatures across Spain.
The social network responds
The news has sparked protests on the Internet across de the Catalan-speaking countries. Last night, several on-line media such as Vilaweb, MónDivers, L'Accent or Llibertat staged a symbolic information blackout in support of Acció Cultural del País Valencià. Other webs Esperanto.cat, Triallibres.com, Omnium Cultural and Obra Cultural Balear, among many others followed the example. In Twitter, hashtags #sensesenyal, #volemTV3 and País Valencià have become 'trending topics' in Spain.
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