Europa 7, the television channel that isn't:

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They continue to take us for a ride. Rete 4 is illegal while Europa 7 is legitimate. RAI, together with 700 local broadcasters, excluding Mediaset, will make one frequency available, which according to Francesco Di Stefano will cover 15% of the territory. In other words, little or nothing and heaven alone knows when. The citizens of Italy will be left to pay the European fines for Rete 4. Rete 4’s advertising revenue will be pocketed by the psychodwarf. Misinformation is the last form of defence open to this system that is rotten to the core. They may never give up (is it in their interests?), but neither will we.

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"The television channel that isn’t has been assigned a frequency that doesn’t exist. In other words, channel 8 as they call it doesn’t exist in Italy at this moment in time. What is required in order for this channel to exist is for Rai and the other seven hundred local broadcasters to move aside so as to create a space for this channel. This will apparently occur by July, but we have certain doubts as to whether it will happen. If this were to happen, it would mean that we would finally have a channel on which to build a VHF network, in other words on the same frequencies as those operated by Rai Uno. What it means is that we will have one channel on which to build a national network while Rai Uno has ten channels! You can just imagine how we can hope to set up a national network with only one channel when faced with Rai that has no less than ten! Take into account that a channel starts broadcasting from one position, in other words from a mountain top, but cannot broadcast from the next mountain top because it constitutes interference. So we’re back to the same old story, namely a great rip-off.
What is required is that the channel becomes free throughout the whole of Italy and, I repeat, I have numerous doubts because it does not appear that this will happen. Once a channel is freed, one single channel in the whole of Italy amounts to a coverage of more or less fifteen to eighteen percent of the territory. Why? Because at least three channels are required in order to provide adequate coverage of the whole Country. Let me give you an example, if you set up a channel in the Veneto region that broadcasts out towards Emilia, another from Milan and a third from Bologna, where these channels cross a service can be provided with these three channels. With only one of these instead, only one of these channels will go live, the result being that the service will only cover part of the territory and not the rest of it. In other words, in nineteen ninety-nine we won a Ferrari in order to compete in a race against other Ferraris, namely a network that offered eighty percent coverage in Italy and ninety-five percent of the population, while now they are offering us a bicycle with which to race against Ferraris, with fifteen percent coverage of the territory. In this way, granted but not guaranteed that we may one day be able to go to the circuit to enter the race, all the others will trample us and squash us, and that will be the end of that.
Look, I have a very clear impression about this entire episode: the impression is that, in this Country, interests win over rights time and again. Above all and only if the interests in question are those of a very powerful force. In this case in particular, they are those of the most powerful forces: political, editorial, economic and financial. Foreign television stations have said enough about us. All of them, and continuously. The one party that has paid little attention to us is the European Commission! The very party that should have immediately resolved the problem. Firstly with Monti, if you remember with “Super Mario” Microsoft, but thanks to Berlusconi, we never even saw this Super Mario. Anything but! And then with Groetsch, which declared the Italian Government to be in default and telling it that: “you must repeal the Gasparri Law! It does not comply with European directives.” The Government’s response was: “You are right, we will make arrangements”. But these arrangements were never made. I am referring to the matter for which we will have to pay certain fines. But Groetsch did not continue on this track. It ended after issuing a motivated opinion that warned the Government that: “I will give you two months to comply, after which you will be referred to the European Court of Justice”. It ended no less than one year and three months ago. Meanwhile, on 31 January 2008 the Court of Justice handed down a ruling which stated that: “The transition period that has allowed Mediaset to continue to occupy the frequencies used by Rete 4 and broadcast an analogue signal is illegal!” Therefore, at least since '97, the time of the Maccanico Law, Rete 4 has not been allowed to broadcast. This was the decision handed down by the European Court of Justice. Please note! Decisions handed down by the European Court of Justice are law. From the very next day! Laws that apply to the Italian Government just as they apply to all other member States. Therefore, given that transition periods have been classified as illegal, the other member States have rushed to comply. In Italy instead, the very Country to which the decision refers, neither the Ministry, nor the Authority, nor the judges have (as yet) made the necessary arrangements. The same ruling goes on to say that: “All of the Laws – the Maccanico Law, Law sixty-six of 2001 promulgated by the Amato government, the Gasparri Law, Berlusconi’s “save Rete 4” legal decree, etc – drafted in such a way as to prevent Europa 7 from taking over the frequencies in question, are themselves illegal. They have to be revoked”. Have you seen any signs of this happening? When the European Court of Justice’s ruling was issued that the twenty-percent VAT rating on motor cars had to be changed, the Cabinet of the Prodi government took the necessary steps the very next day. Just a few months later, the very same Prodi government held a Cabinet meeting to implement all of the rulings of the European Court, that is, all except one: the one in question here. And Minister Bonino, who was the responsible Minister at the time, responded to a direct question by saying that it was not a matter of urgency. That ruling came into effect from 31 January 2008, meanwhile, in April she was saying that it was not a matter of urgency.
What about Executive Committee that should have made a decision by May? Instead of making the decision, the Committee approached the European Court of Justice as follows: “We believe that the Gasparri law fails to comply with the European directives in the matter of these ten points – please note that we would have included five of these points, so they must have been convinced – however, because we are unsure we are asking for your opinion. The European Court responded as follows: Yes, you are right "- Thus expecting the Executive Committee to take the necessary steps immediately! Instead they did nothing of the sort. Indeed, the Committee told the Ministry that: “Since Di Stefano won his case in the Regional Administrative Court, which required you to give him an answer – the ruling stated that he was entitled to answer after nine years of waiting for one, don’t you think? Given that I have never spoken to the Ministry – Give him an answer …” in application of the fact that you must give him eighty percent of the territory and ninety-five percent of the population. And “comply fully with the ruling of the European Court of Justice”, namely, turn off Rete 4 and hand over the frequencies to Europa 7. Naturally, the Ministry failed to comply. Not only did the Cabinet thus fail to force compliance with the ruling handed down by the European Court of Justice, but what we are saying is that they claimed to be complying while directly failing to do so. Now, given that the Ministry has failed to comply, we expect the Cabinet to do so, right? You have made the request, you gave them a chance, yet they have once again taken us for a ride … Our hope is that this time the Cabinet will say: “OK, you have failed to comply, so I will appoint a commissioner and I will ensure that we comply”. Our only hope is the old one: hoping for justice. All in all I must say that we obtained true justice from the European Court, not from the political Europe but from the European Court, which is arguably the most important Court in the entire world. There is no way to overturn this ruling! While a Constitutional Court decision can be overcome by promulgating a government law, especially when someone like Ciampi signs it, and to recover it involves going to the Constitutional Court, a ruling by the European Court of Justice is sacrosanct. No Italian judge will ever be in a position to permit Rete 4 to continue broadcasting. The fact is, however, that Rete 4 continues to broadcast while we do not! Simply because no one in Italy has applied the ruling! I repeat: neither the Ministry, either in the person of Gentiloni or Scajola after him, nor the Authority, which is the guarantor of Corrado Calabrò’s communications, so it is up to the judges to meet and make a decision. Therefore, the Executive Committee must, must, must apply the ruling! The European Court of Justice must apply it! The European anti-trust must absolutely apply any ruling of the European Court of Justice. So much so that Groetsch said in April that: “we will continue to be vigilant until such time as the ruling has been fully applied”. Well, from January to April it was not applied. What kind of vigilance is this then?" Francesco Di Stefano - Europa 7
Ps. On Sunday 18 January 2009, at 10h30 in the Ouverture Hall at No.22 Via Tripoli (Nomentano area), the Amici Beppe Grillo Roma Association will be presenting the draft ROME 5-STAR CIVIC LIST and discussing various issues with local citizens and organisations, ranging from Public Water provision - Connectivity – Renewable energy sources - Mobility – Zero refuse – Political programmes

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I followed the AnnoZero program and in fact it is a very crap program indeed. The conductor should consider changing his career to driving busses instead. This guy has the gall of addressing himself as a journalist but he is not one and could never be one as he does not have a clue of the cardinal rule of a true journalist which is to evaluate each story and events from all different angles without pushing forward his own personal bias.
This program was one sided and missed completely the reality of the situation in the Middle East.
Had I been involved in such a charade I would also have walked out in disgust.
The following facts about this war need to be considered apart from the sympathies one may have for the Palestinian cause since 1948.
The state of Israel is here to stay and after several wars last by the Arab world this has but reinforced its right to exist. Several Arab nations have accepted this fact.
What remains for Palestinians to do is to build their future with this fact in mind.
As for Hamas, this is a criminal organization who should bear full blame for the massacres of their own people in Gaza.
Firstly, by sending their "martirs" to blow themselves and a whole bunch of civilians up in Israel caused the closure of the entry points from Gaza into Israel with the resultant economic consequences on their own people. Not content with this they started lobbing Katiusha and other home made rockets into Israel targetting civilian population. Up to now they have been lucky that none of these notoriously inaccurate rockets has not hit arab areas in Israel killing their own.
After years of warnings against the launching of these rockets Israel finally and justly retaliated.
You ask for war you get war. It is as simple as that.
Two things were highly noticeable during this military campaign. The use of Palestian women and children as human shields by Hamas and the utterances made by Hamas leaders from the safety of other states.
To conclude did Hamas not consider the repercussions and destruction their actions would cause their own people?
Is it not that the use of your own people as human shields and the absence of your leaders are true signs that Hamas are a bunch of cowards?
These are the questions that everyone should be asking, not making excuses for a bunch of criminals.

Posted by: Maurizio Odello | January 19, 2009 03:09 PM

There was no reason for Lucia Annunziata to walk out of AnnoZero. She either missed the point or was disappointed that the show was not what she thought it was going to be.

The show didn't pretend to be about journalistic objectivity nor about political analysis. It was a reportage showing the results of bombs being dropped in the midst of crowded neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and Unrawa food centres and graphic enough to kick-start the consciences of the international political power-bokers.

Shocking? Wars are by definition shocking. Indecent? As indecent as dropping bombs on people. As indecent as a terrorist attack. As indecent as firing rockets into Israel.

Shocking and indecent as the history of that conflict and as graphic and lacerated as the dead bodies of children and civilians.

But more than any other thing the show is forcing us to consider whether or not it's okay for Israel to use the disproportionate force that it does, or do we hold Israel to a higher moral standard.

But probably the important point of the show is wether we can disagree and wether we have the courage to discuss this issue. Lucia notwhitstanding.

Taking the show off the air would hurt all of us.

Posted by: louis pacella | January 18, 2009 03:56 AM

Please try and write in paragraphs. Having one big endless paragraph turns me off and I just delete the entire email.


Posted by: David B. Monier-Williams | January 17, 2009 08:07 PM

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