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Sweden's public broadcaster blasts Italian PM's media empire

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Section: International News Geography: Europe Sweden Topics: media

February 28, 2005

Sweden's public broadcaster blasts Italian PM's media empire

A diplomatic row has erupted between Italy and Sweden over advertisements for Swedish public broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT) that claim Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi used his ownership of Italian media to gain political power.

The ads, which claim that Berlusconi controls approximately 90 per cent of Italy's media industry, suggest that he used his media power to gain political office, and once in power, used his political influence to prevent moves to change Italy's media ownership laws.

In an interview with Sweden's daily tabloid Aftonbladet, Swedish Ambassador to Italy Staffan Wrigstad states that Italian officials are very "concerned" with the advertisements and are demanding that they be withdrawn immediately.

SVT's information director Helga Baagöe is quoted in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper as saying that the station has no intention of withdrawing the ad.

» BBC: Rome angered by Swedish TV spot

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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