Vatican Radio to cut hours

Vatican Radio have announced that they will cut back transmission times ‘as a goodwill gesture’, Mike Terry reports. They are under threat of closure by the Italian government because of high radiation levels from their transmitter site. The station has said that it will cut its transmission time on medium wave by half to 7 hours from April 16 – the day after Easter. “It is neither a surrender nor a definitive solution,” said programming director, the Rev. Federico Lombardi. “We are seeking to avoid a clash.” Despite this, the government have reiterated their threat to block power supply to the station unless electro-magnetic radiation is reduced. Prosecutors say Vatican Radio violates the strict standards Italy adopted in 1998 on electromagnetic fields emitted by radio stations and telephone transmitters. The Vatican insists the transmissions are in line with less strict international standards and says its officials are shielded from Italian law under a 1929 pact that established Vatican City as an independent city-state.