polish president, Andre Duda, object to Controversial Media Ownership Law Which, according to its critics, seeks to silence the news channel TVN24owned by Americans Discovery.
“I refuse to sign the Radio and Television Amendment and will return it to Parliament for further study. This means that I abstain from itDuda said in a televised statement after the law Strong criticism from the United States and Europe.
On December 17, Polish deputies approved a text prohibiting companies from outside the European Economic Area from obtaining a file to share majority In the Polish media.
Thus, the American media group Discovery You will have to lose the majority position in the television, one of the largest private Polish TV channels, including TVN24 It is your news channel. It is considered a criticism of the conservatives in power.
The government defends itself by saying that the law protects the Polish media from potential hostile actors such as Russia.
the skeptic claiming to agree to this principle, He said it should not apply to existing trade and investment deals.
“The people I spoke to are worried about the situation. They have different arguments. They spoke of peace and tranquility.. We do not need a new conflict, a new problem. We already have a lotThe chief said.
The Polish president has the support of the ruling party law and justice (PiS, for abbreviation in Polish), although it has already shown Differences On some issues in the past.
In 2017, for example, Duda vetoed two Judicial reforms Which, according to him, gave a lot of powers to the attorney general, who is also the minister of justice.
Regarding the controversial media law, US Trade Representative in Warsaw, Peaks Alio, asked Duda to veto the rule. “We hope President Duda will make a decision on his previous statements and use his leadership to protect freedom of expression and business,” Aliu said.
European Commission spokesperson, Christian Wiegand, noted that the bill involves “Significant dangers to media freedom and pluralism in Poland”.
series the television It was shown to the public pleased With the declaration of the veto, indicating that the Polish president had chosen to be Good relations with the United States.
It was thousands of Poles They protested the law this month outside the presidential palace in WarsawAmong the European Union flags and chants of “Free media!”
After the veto of Duda, the former Polish Prime Minister and former President of the European Council, Donald tuskWho heads the opposition “Civil Platform” party, said that President Doda’s decision shows that “Exerting pressure makes sense.”
Warsaw and the European Union They have been fighting for years for judicial reforms Launched by the PiS since 2015. The PiS already controls public television TVP, turned into a spokesperson for the executive branch, and several regional media outlets.
This was confirmed by the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders “Good news for press freedom, which is in dire straits in Poland.”
Since the Law and Justice Party came to power 2015Poland has lost 46 places in this organization’s Press Freedom Index, and is currently ranked 64th.
(With information from AFP)