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Il monopolio di Berlusconi e le frequenze negate a Europa7

"Situazione italiana inaccettabile per una democrazia"

Open Society Justice Initiative, una fondazione del finanziere e filantropo George Soros, ha adito la Corte europea dei diritti umani contro il monopolio televisivo di Berlusconi e in difesa di Europa7. Ecco il comunicato di oggi.

11 marzo 2010

*Legality of Berlusconi’s Television Monopoly Challenged*

*Europe’s Top Court Urged to Address Italy’s Media Pluralism Gap*

New York/Strasbourg, March 11, 2010—Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s
control over television broadcasting in Italy goes against European
democratic standards, the Open Society Justice Initiative argued in a brief
filed today with the European Court of Human Rights. The Italian broadcaster
bringing suit, Centro Europa 7 s.r.l., has been denied access to the
airwaves for almost a decade.

“This case highlights the failure of successive Italian governments to deal
with the twin problems of concentrated control and conflict of interest in
broadcasting,” said James A. Goldston, executive director of the Open
Society Justice Initiative. “The Italian situation is unacceptable for a
democracy, and we are calling on the European Court to uphold the principles
of media pluralism.”

In 1999, Italian authorities granted Centro Europa 7 a license to operate a
national television station but failed to offer it an actual operating
frequency until December 2008. The frequency should have been relinquished
under national anti-trust law by the Mediaset Group, Italy’s dominant
private broadcasting company. Mediaset operates the country’s top three
private television channels and is controlled by the Berlusconi family.

“Italy has the most concentrated television ownership in Europe,” said
Goldston. “This lack of diversity can stifle debate and limit the public’s
access to information and critical perspectives.”

As head of government, Berlusconi also has indirect authority over Italy’s
state-owned public service broadcaster, Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI).
Together, Mediaset and RAI jointly control roughly 90 percent of audience
and advertising revenue shares nationally. Centro Europa 7 claims the
frequency it was finally granted in 2008 was squeezed out of RAI’s existing
frequencies and is unsuitable for operating a national television network
across Italy.

In 2004, both the Council of Europe and the European Parliament condemned
the open conflict of interest between Mr. Berlusconi’s media interests and
his political responsibilities when in government, yet the situation
persists. The current government has been repeatedly accused of partisan
interference with RAI’s editorial choices.


The Justice Initiative intervened in this case as an independent third party
acting in the public interest.


The Open Society Justice Initiative uses
law to protect and empower people around the world. Through litigation,
advocacy, research, and technical assistance, the Justice Initiative
promotes human rights and builds legal capacity for open societies.

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