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Basque TV defends decision to broadcast king’s message

Nationalist PNV spokesman criticizes channel over Christmas missive as monarchy has “negative meaning for majority”

The director general of Basque regional TV station ETB has defended the network’s decision to once again broadcast the king’s Christmas message this December 24.

There was uproar in 2009 when ETB first showed King Juan Carlos’ traditional festive speech after the Socialists took power. Now, with the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) back holding the regional reins, the controversy has flared up again after PNV spokesman Joseba Egibar sent a letter to ETB chief Alberto Surio arguing that broadcasting the monarch’s words “did not respect the value of democracy.” He said the move did not “take into consideration the negative meaning the Spanish monarchy has for the social and political majority in the Basque Country.”