Poland’s parliament passed a controversial media law in a last-minute vote on Friday. This was reported by Reuters news agency. The bill, apparently intended to silence a critical news channel in the hands of Americans, was blocked by the Polish Senate in September, and sent back to the House of Commons. The fact that it has now approved the proposal means that only a veto by President Andrzej Duda can prevent its implementation.
The bill is an initiative of the conservative nationalist ruling party, the Law and Justice Party, and imposes far-reaching restrictions on media owned by foreign companies. The law is worded in general terms, but its critics say it is aimed at reining in news channel TVN24. TVN24 is a channel of the TVN media company, which in turn is owned by the American parent company Discovery. TVN24 is best known for its critical coverage of the Law and Justice Party, which has consistently tampered with Polish democracy and the rule of law in recent years.
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MPs received the announcement of the vote just 24 minutes ago, according to a left-wing opposition politician on Friday – the last working day before the Christmas holiday – while it was official three days ago. The United States responded decisively and “with great disappointment” to the lightning strike. shouted the charge d’affaires in Warsaw Peaks Aliu Via Twitter Polish President Andrzej Duda to protect “freedom of expression and behavior” in his country using his veto. Although the president is an ally of the PiS government, such a move does not seem out of the question. Rather, he hinted that the media law is not the correct method. Duda said on Friday he would analyze the proposal before making a decision.
The European Union also reacted indignantly to the Polish vote. European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova called the bill on Friday a new sign of Poland’s disrespect for democratic values. “Once this proposal becomes law, the Commission will not hesitate to take action in case of non-compliance with EU law,” Jourova said.
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