Italians at the polling booths responded obligingly to Silvio Berlusconi’s entreaty to keep his television empire intact, but voters were a little more ruthless when it came to their national pubcaster, RAI.
The referendum June 11 calling for RAI’s partial privatization was OK’d 54.9% to 45.1%.
Not surprisingly, while post-referenda euphoria reigned in the Fininvest camp, the mood at RAI became somewhat apprehensive.
RAI president Letizia Moratti told the press: “The Italians said yes to the possible entry of private investors into RAI. I believe this is to be interpreted as an indication for entrepreneurial management of the operation that is efficient and effective.”
“I also believe, though, that this is all the more reason not to forget the nature of RAI as a public service. Its mission is not the remuneration of capital.”
Said RAI administrator Mauro Miccio: “Take care before dismantling RAI, a public service firm that constitutes the historical memory of the country, and has carried out an irreplaceable role. We should think carefully before throwing all this away.”