Italian government criticizes Swedish television broadcaster

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Friday, February 18, 2005

The Italian government has criticized the Swedish public service broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT) for their recently launched campaign called "Fri Television". One of the promotional films in the campaign refers to the media situation in Italy. The film says that president Sivlio Berlusconi was elected after a campaign on his own television channels and that he now also controls the state television, RAI.

The music theme of the campaign is a Mandolin version of the popular Italian song "O' sole mio".

The Italian government has said that this is a matter for Italy. Telecom minister Maurizio Gasparri said that the information is false. The Swedish ambassador in Italy, Staffan Wrigstad, was yesterday called to the Italian ministry of foreign affairs.

The CEO of SVT, Christina Jutterström, says that she doesn't have plans to stop the campaign. "This campaign is like Italian shoes. It's pointed and a bit uncomfortable", Jutterström said to the Swedish news program Rapport.

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