Italy to pay €10m compensation to Europa 7
June 8, 2012
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Italy to pay €10 million for the non-allocation of frequencies to Europa 7. The Italian broadcaster, owned by Francesco Di Stefano, has for 10 years been deprived of the frequencies to which it was entitled, in violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights on freedom of expression and information, said the court.
The compensation consists of €10 million in moral damages, to which are added €100,000 in legal fees. Di Stefano had asked for compensation of €2 billion.
However, in its ruling the European Court of Human Rights did not take into account the role of rival broadcaster Mediaset, owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who Di Stefano had openly accused.
Europa 7 received a national broadcasting license in 1999 on three analogue frequencies with 80 per cent territorial coverage.
However, due to a lack of available frequencies and following numerous legal challenges, Europa 7 only managed to go on air in 2010, as a result of the analogue-switch-off, broadcasting in the DVB-T2 standard.