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Schroeder’s SPD buys newspaper

Published on 12/03/2004

12 March 2004

BERLIN – The major media holdings of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democrats drew new controversy this week after it was confirmed the party may buy a holding in an embattled national newspaper.

The Social Democratic (SPD) publishing company, Deutsche Druck und Verlagsgesellschaft, says it wants to help save the left-of-centre Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper and is currently negotiating to take a share of the paper.

Opposition politicians reacted with anger to the announcement.

“The SPD is becoming like (Italian Prime Minister Silvio) Berlusconi,” said Joachim Otto, the Free Democratic Party media policy spokesman. Berlusconi has huge media holdings including private TV stations.

Otto said one million newspapers were being sold each day in Germany by publishers in which Schroeder’s SPD held a major stake. “And this is not made clear to the readers,” he added.

The SPD currently owns shares in at least 17 newspapers and magazines including such respected dailies as the Leipziger Volkszeitung, the Neue Westfälische and the Hannoversche Allgemeine – Schroeder’s main hometown newspaper.

No other German political parties have such extensive media holdings as the SPD.


Subject: German news