'Europe's last dictator' rations foreign music

Click to follow

Radio stations in Belarus, Europe's most repressive state, have been ordered to cut back drastically on the amount of foreign music they play.

Radio stations in Belarus, Europe's most repressive state, have been ordered to cut back drastically on the amount of foreign music they play.

Under a draconian new decree, only two of every 10 tracks played on FM radio can be foreign and the rest must be performed by home-grown artists.

Inspired by the neo-Stalinist President, Alexander Luka-shenko - described by his critics as "Europe's last dictator" - the ban has left radio stations struggling to fill their schedules. Although the ban was ostensibly to stimulate the domestic music scene, many of Belarus's most popular bands have been blacklisted for performing at a concert last year to protest against Mr Lukashenko's 10-year rule, in which he has ruthlessly crushed opposition, paid scant respect for human rights and been accused of ordering murders.

The bands - Palac, Drum Ecstasy, Neuro Dubel, N.R.M., ZET, Pomidor/OFF and Zmicier Vajciuskievic - say their music has not been on the radio since, and concerts and media interviews have been cancelled.

Belarussians told the Russian daily Gazeta that many stations face bankruptcy since they will all have to play the same music and lose listeners, or lose their licences.

Comments