Government, opposition focus on media owners

Opposition leader Costas Karamanlis met Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday and urged him to press the government to enact 34 laws that had been the subject of the last constitutional reform in 2000. Among these laws is one barring a major shareholder in a media company from doing business with the State, a measure that has provoked strong reaction from some media owners. The Cabinet is to discuss the issue today and is expected to limit media ownership to less than 7 percent for those involved in State contracts. Karamanlis charged that the government had been stalling on voting in the new laws for the last 10 months and that none of them had been brought to the vote. «They must, at long last, be brought to vote because the Constitution demands this,» said Karamanlis, who leads the New Democracy party. «Among them are many important issues, such as the issue of ownership of the news media.» The government had pledged that 22 of the laws would be voted in by the end of last year. Asked how the summit might affect the standoff with the United States, Sabri said: «Everybody and everyone understands each other. We (at the meeting) can stand together against all jungle law policies.»

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