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BBC axes 10 foreign language broadcasts, including Bulgarian

Date: 28.10.2005

The BBC World Service announced 10 foreign language services, including the broadcast in Bulgarian, will be closed next year.

The move is part of a 30 million pounds restructuring of the World Service and will fund the launch of an Arabic-language television service. The channel will initially broadcast 12 hours a day and will be the BBC's first publicly funded global TV service.

Broadcasts in Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Kazakh, Polish, Slovak, Slovene and Thai will cease by March 2006.

"Many of the European services being closed had their roots in the Second World War and have served their audiences well right through the Cold War years," BBC World Service Director Nigel Chapman said.

"But Europe has changed, fundamentally, since the early nineties. Now the countries to which these languages are broadcast are members of the EU, or are likely to join soon."

The World Service now provides news in English and 42 other languages and is funded by a Foreign Office grant.

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