Sunday, April 23, 2006 runs Fausto Bertinotti's call for a smaller Mediaset second on its front page this Sunday. It provokes immediate and predictable condemnation from the centre-right, and tepid criticism from others in the centre-left.

The centre-left's reaction to Bertinotti's call is disappointing, and is perhaps a sign of how cautious the left is. The Constitutional Court, with a 1994 ruling, signalled that the control of more than 25% of the television market was unconstitutional. The centre-left, in its own programme, has called for the introduction of greater competition into the audiovisual sector. But because the centre-left is afraid to be seen to be attacking the losers of a divisive election, the right-wing of the centre-left must distance itself from Bertinotti.

Granted, revisiting the Gasparri law, and the legislation on conflicts of interest, will be nightmarishly complex, and it's probably not something to which immediate energy should be devoted. But it would have been better to pass over this comment with judicious silence than trash it in the way Clemente Mastella did.

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