Italian prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi was censured by the European Parliament last Thursday for maintaining undue control over Italian broadcasting despite pledging three years ago

BRUSSELS--Italian prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi was censured by the European Parliament last Thursday for maintaining undue control over Italian broadcasting despite pledging three years ago to divest his media interests.

The Parliament vote in Strasbourg, France, was backed by 237 votes, with just 24 against. It passed despite Berlusconi's Forza Italia party attempting to derail the action by attaching some 338 amendments.

The censure resolution calls for laws to prevent politicians or candidates from having major media interests and urges the European Commission to draft a proposal to prevent media monopoly abuses.

"The Italian system presents an anomaly, owing to a unique combination of economic, political and media power in the hands of one man," said the resolution, which was drafted by Dutch liberal democrat Johanna Boogerd-Quaak.

In addition to being the Italian prime minister, Berlusconi owns Mediaset, the largest private television group in Italy.