Government submits new media regs

Greece’s socialist government May 30 submitted to Parliament a controversial new media law to regulate the country’s chaotic media market and prevent a small number of people and companies from controlling the burgeoning market.

Press Minister Evangelos Venizelos took more than six months to draft the law, which he has described as the toughest in the European Union. It is widely considered to be the most important piece of legislation drafted since the socialists came to power in October 1993.

It could be voted into law by the socialists’ 170 majority in the 300-member Parliament as early as next month.

The 81-page draft law would regulate the private TV, radio and newspaper industries as well as all future media ventures, including cable and new forms of multimedia outlets.

The 5-year-old private TV industry is at the core of the new law. There are 12 licensed TV stations and nearly 100 unlicensed ones currently operating here. The new law would trim the number of nationwide networks to less than five.

Central to the new law is an article that will review all existing TV licenses and grant new ones on the basis of strict financial criteria.

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