The price is right – News from the battle against the SWR orchestra fusion
It’s funny – when I wrote in this article that it is a mystery to me that the heightened income from the reform of the German „Rundfünkgebühr“ (radio fee) couldn’t do anything to prevent the threatened fusion of the SWR Radio Orchestras, I was declared wrong by commentator Renate Hausmann, who stated that nothing of this money would go to the SWR and that she had „good sources“ who knew that.
Even my dear fellow blogger Alexander Strauch ruminated that the whole debate about the possible orchestra saving benefits of the fee reform was only a side debate.
Now it seems that finally the realisation has set in that some of this money actually WILL end up with the SWR, and that the main reasons cited by the responsible forces for the orchestra fusion are now looking slightly dated. And it is a good opportunity to again point at the ongoing petition, which has now increasing hopes of being succesful.
Oh, how good it feels to be (sometimes) right….
We are writing with an encouraging update on the progress and future of the petition against orchestra fusion. On March 21st three members of the Friends of SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg personally met with SWR director Peter Boudgoust and the chair of the SWR board Harald Augter and delivered our international petition with 4,908 signatures from 62 countries. At the same meeting they also delivered a new grass-roots petition from Germany:
In addition, March 20th we submitted a summary of the petition to 46 German politicians, including governors of all 16 German federal states, urging them to convince the SWR board to reverse its decision. As some of you may know, the economic conditions under which the fusion was conceived have changed due to an extraordinary increase of available funding thanks to a new radio taxation policy. Therefore the supposed principal argument for orchestra fusion no longer has any basis, and this was a prime moment to alert German politicians to the issue.
But the struggle is not over yet. The Ministerpräsident (governor) of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, just agreed personally to receive our petition on May 2. Therefore the next four weeks are the final chance to expand the petition as much as we can. It is crucial that we sustain the protest and continue to draw media attention to the issue until the submission date. If every one of you recruits at least one friend who has not yet signed we could reach 10,000. We are proud and happy to thank you for your efforts so far and thank you in advance for your continued support!
The Petition Team