Rightwing League MP Alessandro Morelli has submitted a bill in the Lower House that would require one in three songs played by radio stations in Italy to be Italian, saying traditional Italian music is suffering under the influence of “lobbies and political interests.”
Morelli and League leader Matteo Salvini were among those left outraged after a Moroccan-influenced singer won this year's edition of the popular song contest.
Mahmood during the Sanremo Music Festival. Photo: Sanremo/Facebook.
Milan-born singer Alessandro Mahmoud, who performs under the name Mahmood, was questioned about his nationality after his win with non-traditional “Morocco-pop” song Soldi earlier this month. The contest's voting system was criticised as unfair by some.
Morelli told local media: “Mahmood's victory at Sanremo shows that great lobbies and political interests outweigh the music. I want to help the artists and producers of our country through the tools I have as a parliamentarian.”
Morelli, currently chair of the Lower House transport committee, was formerly director of the League's own radio station, Radio Padania.
He said he hopes his proposal wiill “start a broad debate on Italian creativity.”
His music bill, co-signed by eight fellow League members, states that national and private radio stations must reserve “at least a third of their daily programming for the Italian musical production, the work of Italian authors and artists, recorded and produced in Italy, during each 24 hours of programming.”
An additional ten percent of the songs played must be by “emerging” local artists, the text said.
The bill would also require that Italian music be considered “cultural heritage protected by the Constitution”.
If the law is passed, radio stations that fail to comply would face an eight- to 30-day suspension from the air.
Morelli quoted government data showing that only 23 percent of the music played on Italy's ten biggest radio stations currently fits his criteria.
A similar quota system has long been in place in neighbouring France where, since the 1994 passing of the 'Toubon law' on the use and promotion of the French language, radio stations must make sure at least 40 percent of the music played is French.
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