The Media Programme'sdistribution support system appears to be in a state of disarray. Speaking inBerlin on Sunday, Raymond A. J. Goverde confirmed that the budget for 2004 ranout in mid-November and that no distributors have received the money they werepromised since then.

Goverde (Head of MonitoringTeam at Media) said that the cause for the shortfall is the increased number ofdistributors from new EU member countries applying for support. "We didn't knowhow popular we were with the eastern states," he said. "The new ones'jumpedimmediately on the media programme."

"The eastern countries thathave joined us are very enthusiastic. They are very interested in the (Media)programme, they co-operate very well. They are a good bonus for the MediaProgramme," Goverde continued. "We cannot say to them join the European Union,but don't join the Media Programme."

The Media Programme iscurrently applying to the European Parliament for extra financing in order tobe able to honour its 2004 obligations. "So far as I know, there are nocatastrophes, no bankruptcies," Goverde commented of the funding stall. "Wealways pay in due time."

Goverde denied that thesudden interruption in funding has caused the Media Programme anyembarrassment. "It's every year the same story," he said. The difference in2004, he explained, is that the money ran out more quickly than in previousyears. "Normally it happens in mid-December."

It has yet to be confirmedwhen the extra funding will be approved, but it is expected that the problemwill be resolved before the end of this month. Goverde estimates that there arearound 100 distributors waiting for their money.

The current Media Programme,Media Plus, runs out at the end of 2006.