sabato 3 ottobre 2009

Support for press freedom in Italy

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Support for press freedom in Italy

Italy is the only western democracy where the prime minister exercises direct control over three TV channels he owns, and has indirect control over three public channels as well as owning several newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and the largest publishing house in the country. He has recently sued several newspapers from Italy, France, and Spain. The European parliament is studying the possibility of taking a position on the risk of a violation to media freedom in Italy, and has called a first plenary assembly for 7 October in Brussels to discuss the issue. On 22 October a vote will take place on a resolution, and we urge our fellow MEPs to support it.
Today demonstrations for media freedom are taking place in Rome, Paris, London and other European cities, demonstrating the public's desire for action on this issue. The European institutions have the authority to condemn intimidation of the press in Italy, and potentially to open legal proceedings according to article seven of the treaties. This authority should be exercised to guarantee that the right to freedom of information is respected.
The lack of a European response to the intimidation of the press in Italy poses a direct threat to the right of liberty of expression throughout the European Union, puts in jeopardy progress in former Soviet countries admitted into the EU, and limits the authority of any European condemnation of censorship in the rest of the world.
Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolo Milanese Directors, European Alternatives, Sonia Alfano MEP, Rosario Crocetta MEP, Sylvie Guillaume MEP, Sarah Ludford MEP, Luigi de Magistris MEP, Claude Moraes MEP, Vincent Peillon MEP, Judith Sargentini MEP, Gianni Vattimo MEP © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009, Saturday 3 October 2009

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