The boss of Germany’s biggest public broadcaster has resigned after he was accused of using public money to fund a lavish lifestyle, including buying a bespoke office makeover complete with massage chairs.
Atricia Schlesinger resigned as head of ARD, the German equivalent of RTÉ, after she was accused of running “funding orgies”.
The dispute has led to calls for the mandatory television contribution to be dropped in Germany.
According to that Business Insider Ms. Schlesinger billed her employer for parties she threw at her home, drove around in a €145,000 chauffeur-driven Audi and oversaw lucrative consulting contracts passed to her husband.
More allegations in picture Listed €650,000 worth of renovations that Ms. Schlesinger ordered for her office, including Italian hardwood floors and two massage chairs.
The allegations have infuriated license fee opponents because Ms Schlesinger was responsible for an increase in the fee last year and insisted the broadcaster had to skimp and economize to survive.
Germany’s two public broadcasters, ARD and ZDF, are the best funded in the world – with a total budget of €8 billion.
A household’s failure to pay the mandatory €18 radio license fee can result in a jail sentence, with one man giving rise to objections when he spent 101 days in jail last year.
The levy is intended to be spent on impartial reporting, and broadcasters’ budgets are, on paper, subject to very strict parliamentary scrutiny.
Ms Schlesinger, who was the most powerful woman in Germany’s media until Sunday, denied the allegations in her resignation letter and claimed to have been the victim of a “smear campaign” against her. (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd. 2022)
Telegraph Media Group Limited 
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/german-tv-boss-quits-after-claims-of-spending-orgies-that-included-145000-audi-massage-chairs-and-italian-parquet-floors-41898766.html The German TV boss is quitting after claims of “spending sprees” that included €145,000 for Audi, massage chairs and Italian parquet floors