European toy makers accuse Brussels of procrastination

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EC commissioners are undecided over whether to pursue a toy industry complaint about a Greek ban on TV ads for toys before the evening watershed.

Five of the commissioners, including President Jacques Santer and Culture Commissioner Marcelino Oreja, are against taking action. But such a move needs a unanimous vote of support.

"If the Commission does not act against Greece's breach of the Treaty of Rome then it opens the door for other countries to do the same," argues Stephan Luiten, a lobbyist for Toy Manufacturers Europe.

"The Commission takes the easy way out in cases like this," says one angry lobbyist for the toy ad industry. "It avoids getting involved hoping the problem will move on to the door of the European Court of Justice, which quite often happens."

TME has lodged complaints with the EC against Sweden and Belgium as well as against Greece. It also plans to complain about Ireland's seven-month two-hour afternoon ban on the RTE2 TV station.

"We shall file a complaint against Ireland this autumn, regardless of the EC's decision in the Greek case," says Luiten. "Its a matter of principle."

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