Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
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, July 27, 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.