Economics and politics have conspired for Italy to scrap plans to hold a beauty contest for free allocation of digital terrestrial TV frequencies and start the process over again. Minister for economic development Corrado Passera said that a new decision will be made later this month.
The government is expected to receive around €1.2 billion for the frequencies, and it made little sense to give them away for nothing, especially given Italy’s current debt burden. Another factor was that the plans for a beauty contest were drawn up by the previous government under Silvio Berlusconi, who resigned in November 2011 largely because of his failure to deal with the growing debt crisis. According to Passera, these plans had been made at a time when the economic and social situation was very different from now, when the government was asking its citizens to make financial sacrifices.