MINELRES: Greece: New radio licensing law restricts minority media, says OSCE media freedom watchdog

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Mon Jul 30 15:25:04 2007

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29 July 2007

Greece: New radio licensing law restricts minority media, says OSCE
media freedom watchdog

Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) highlights the following OSCE warning that
Greece's new media law seriously restricts minority and community access
to radio broadcasting. It is noteworthy that OSCE's warning has been
hardly covered by Greek media.

New radio licensing law in Greece restricts minority media, says OSCE
media freedom watchdog

VIENNA, 27 July 2007 - Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on
Freedom of the Media, expressed his concern today about a new Greek
radio licensing law that endangers pluralism by putting a high threshold
for minority, community or low-cost broadcasters. 

"The law on 'Concentration and Licensing of Media Enterprises and other
Provisions', passed by the Greek Parliament on 5 July and then signed
into force by Greek President Karolos Papoulias, sets a number of
unnecessarily rigid requirements for obtaining a radio broadcasting
licence," said Haraszti. 

For music radio stations, the conditions to obtain a license include a
minimum of 3 to 5 full-time staff members; for news channels with a
bigger outreach the number of staff rises to 20, and a minimum deposit
of between 30,000 and 100,000 euros are required respectively.
Additionally, a licence will only be granted to 24-hour broadcasters,
and the main transmission language must be Greek. 

"OSCE commitments regarding pluralism of views require that all
communities have access to the flow information and can contribute to
it. Every government has a responsibility to facilitate respect and
inclusiveness," said Haraszti.

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