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EUobserver / Gloves come off in EU election campaigns

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU election campaigning is beginning to get ugly, with legal challenges over media abuses launched in France and Italy and personal attacks on senior political figures in Austria and Spain.

The Italian Radical Party - affiliated with the liberal group in the EU legislature - has asked the OSCE for an "immediate inquiry" into alleged violations of media freedom in the EU campaign.

The political fighting is getting dirty

The Radicals say voters are badly informed about their options, with only 3 percent of Italians aware about which parties are running and with candidates allegedly forced to pay for access to TV shows.

The Radicals note that international watchdog Freedom House has degraded Italy from "free" to "partially free" in the area of press. Italian centre-right prime minister and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi is also being linked to a corporate lawyer accused of bribery and perjury.

by Fran on Wed May 20th, 2009 at 01:59:46 PM EST
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