Mediaset chairman Fedele Confalonieri has called for new laws to help broadcasters — just days after the company’s owner, Silvio Berlusconi, was re-elected Italian prime minister.
Confalonieri, a close friend of Berlusconi, told the group’s annual meeting in Milan on Wednesday that he hoped for new laws that made communications a “national priority.”
During his first two terms in office, Berlusconi was accused of using his political power to give Mediaset an unfair advantage over rival broadcasters.
But Confalonieri said the company was counting on “political leadership that developed all types of media.”
He added, however, that TV “should not be used as a political weapon and for blackmail,” as he said it had in the past two years under Romano Prodi’s government.
Prodi had proposed laws to boost competition and cut conflict of interest in broadcasting — considered anathema to a prime minister-elect who owns three TV stations.
Last week, ahead of the general election, Berlusconi said conflict of interest had “no basis or substance.”
Meanwhile, Mediaset revealed that advertising earnings rose in the first quarter of 2008. “We’re up 3%, and it might get better,” the group’s advertising chief Giuliano Adreani told journalists.