Pressure is mounting on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to sell some of his media holdings and part of state-owned broadcaster RAI. On Aug. 23, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi called for new laws to redress the country's excessive media concentration and guarantee "pluralism and impartiality." That was seen as a signal of Ciampi's concern about Berlusconi's near-monopoly in Italian private TV through his family's control of $2.5 billion broadcaster Mediaset.
Thanks to his parliamentary majority, Berlusconi also effectively controls state-owned TV. While a bill on Berlusconi's conflict of interest is moving through Parliament, it doesn't require asset sales. Ciampi has the authority to send the bill back for revisions. EDITED BY Edited by Rose Brady