Middle East

Polish President Veto Media Bill

U.S.-owned channel praises “Polish victory”

The Polish president quoted concerns about the burden the law puts on Washington’s relations and said the media bill was aimed at silencing news channels where critics lost to government-critical discovery. Rejected.
While some countries see the move as strengthening Russia’s claims, NATO member Poland has a potentially explosive line with the United States during times of heightened tensions in Eastern Europe. You can avoid it.
However, this decision means that projects voted through parliament by the law and justice (PiS) of the ruling nationalists have been thwarted by the president elected as an ally.
President Andrzej Duda said in a statement televised yesterday that if the law were to come into force, it could violate a treaty signed with the United States on economic and trade relations.
“One of the arguments considered during the analysis of this law was the issue of an international agreement signed in 1990 … this treaty addresses the protection of investment,” he said.
“There is a clause that media-related investments may be excluded, but that is about future investments.”
The United States urged Duda to use the veto. Warsaw’s Chargé d’Affaires to the United States, Bix Ariu, thanked him on Twitter for “… leadership and commitment to common democratic values ​​and for protecting Poland’s investment climate.”
A law that unexpectedly passed Congress this month would have tightened rules on foreign ownership of the media, especially affecting the operational capabilities of the news channel TVN24 owned by US media company Discovery. TVN, the parent of TVN24, is owned by Discovery through a Dutch registered company to circumvent the ban on non-European companies that own more than 49% of Polish media companies. Laws that gathered national protests would have thwarted this workaround.
“This is a victory for the Polish people,” Discovery said in a statement. “We commend the President for doing the right thing and supporting the democratic values ​​of free press and the rule of law.”
However, PiS spokeswoman Anita Czerwinska told state news agency PAP that the party was “disappointed” with the decision.
“In our opinion, media law needs to be clarified so that the law applies according to the same practices as in other countries,” she said.
Parliament can vote to overturn the president’s veto, but PiS does not have the required majority vote of voters.
PiS has long claimed that foreign media groups have too much power in Poland, distorting public debate.
However, critics say the opposition to them is trying to limit media freedom and is part of the authoritarian agenda that has driven Warsaw to the European Union loggerhead turtle.
Duda generally believes that limiting foreign ownership of the media makes sense, but said regulation should relate to future investments in the sector, not current owners. rice field.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/707018/Polish-president-vetoes-media-bill Polish President Veto Media Bill

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