* Opposition lawmakers criticize raid
* Tax agency says raid is routine
* Clarin would be hurt by proposed media reforms (Recasts, adds reaction, adds byline)
BUENOS AIRES, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Scores of tax officials raided Argentina's biggest newspaper on Thursday, intensifying a fierce battle between the government and one of Latin America's largest media groups.
More than 150 tax inspectors searched the Buenos Aires building housing the offices of daily Clarin, which is owned by media and telecommunications company Grupo Clarin, and removed files and documents.
The raid comes as center-left President Cristina Fernandez is pushing a media reform bill that analysts say will weaken Grupo Clarin's role as the dominant media company in Argentina.
An opposition lawmaker said the tax operation damaged Fernandez's argument that her bill is aimed at bringing more democracy and competition to the media sector.
"There are no more doubts about what the bill's aims are. It's meant to damage an economic group and not to help citizens," Deputy Julian Obiglio, head of the center-left PRO party in the lower house, said in a statement.
Fernandez and her husband and predecessor, former president Nestor Kirchner, have increased state intervention in some sectors of the economy and have clashed with the agricultural industry over farm policy.
Ex-president Kirchner has publicly criticized Clarin's coverage of the government as biased and described the company as a "monopoly."
Grupo Clarin used to have a harmonious relationship with Kirchner but its news outlets criticized Fernandez's handling of a dispute with farmers and have stepped up negative coverage of the proposed media reform.
Grupo Clarin owns newspapers, television and radio interests, as well as cable and Internet access companies. Its share price closed down 1.6 percent at 6 pesos per share on Thursday at the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange as local television stations covered the tax raid.
A spokesman for the AFIP tax agency said the raid was aimed at examining the company's books and was similar to recent inspections carried out at other companies.
But Martin Etchevers, a Grupo Clarin spokesman, questioned the raid and said the company was being singled out.
"This kind of inspection has never occurred in the history of Clarin," he told a local TV channel.
Last week, the head of Argentina's broadcast regulator said he had vetoed the merger of the country's two cable TV operators owned by Grupo Clarin, a move that also drew criticism from company officials.
Argentine lawmakers are currently debating President Fernandez's media reform bill, which would overhaul the country's broadcast regulations, which date from the 1976-83 military dictatorship. (Reporting by Guido Nejamkis, Luis Andres Henao, Juliana Castilla and Jorge Otaola; Writing by Kevin Gray)
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