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AMARC concerned over proposed broadcasting legislation in Canary Islands that excludes community radio stations

(AMARC/IFEX) - On 19 December 2008, the Canary Islands government publicised a proposed broadcasting law which fails to recognise the existence of community radio stations and contains no mention of whether non-profit groups will be able to gain access to broadcasting frequencies.

According to AMARC-Europe President Mariano Sánchez, when the Canary Islands government drafted the proposed legislation, it failed to take into consideration the proposals and suggestions brought forward by AMARC and community radio stations operating on the islands. Sánchez also said that the government failed to take into consideration the recommendations of the European Parliament, which in its 25 September resolution called for "legal recognition for community media as a defined group, together with commercial and public media outlets (. . . )."

Currently, there are 400 privately-owned radio stations operating on the Canary Islands. However, only 44 of them are licensed because no new licenses have been awarded since 1990. Community radio stations play an important role on the islands. The oldest community radio station is Radio Guiniguada, which has been operating for 25 years but has never been able to obtain legal recognition.

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