Cyprus Mail

MPs vote to block foreign broadcasters

PARLIAMENT will grant the Cyprus Broadcasting Authority the right to refuse foreign broadcasters a licence to operate on the island, if a study shows the new station will not positively contribute to the operations of local media, the House Interior Committee heard this week.

According to committee chairman Yiannos Lamaris, parliament will grant the decision making power to the authority and although not everything has yet been cleared up with the legal services, “it seems as though the EU is not as strict as it is presented to be in having every country regulating their own broadcasting field without going against the community acquis.”

Deputies and authority chairman Andreas Petrides have expressed concerns that several Greek channels are looking to set up shop in Cyprus.

The first, Alpha TV, will begin airing next week.

Lamaris said he believed each country could be responsible not only for the range of media which operates, but the powers it has to control licences.

Lawmakers also unanimously opted to harmonise a bill for state-owned CyBC and extend temporary licences to broadcasters by a year, until the bill is voted and stations can receive permanent licences.

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