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Poland puts state media under liquidation amid political dispute - DW - 12/27/2023

Poland puts state media under liquidation amid political dispute – DW – 12/27/2023

Poland's new culture minister announced the liquidation of all public media on Wednesday, deepening a political row over state-run broadcasters. But this move does not mean that public broadcasters will be dissolved.

After taking power earlier this month, she took office in the new pro-EU government headed by Prime Minister Donald Tusk A comprehensive reform of the state media began. And many critics of the previous government he headed Nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS)They claim that the broadcasters have turned into mouthpieces for the PiS and its allies during their eight-year rule.

But efforts to reform it hit a snag when conservative Polish President Andrzej Duda, an ally of PiS, vetoed the government's new budget for public media.

“Due to the decision of the President of the Republic of Poland to suspend funding for public media, I have decided to liquidate the companies Telewizja Polska SA, Polskie Radio SA and Polska Agencja Prasowa SA,” Culture Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz said on social media. Wednesday.

He added: “In the current situation, such a measure will ensure the continued operation of these companies, implement the necessary restructuring and prevent layoffs of employees in the above-mentioned companies.”

Why are public media filtered in Poland?

The minister said that placing television, radio and public news agencies under liquidation helps protect organizations suffering from being deprived of funding due to the ongoing political dispute. Specifically, it secures workers' jobs and allows for restructuring, according to the official.

Sienkiewicz also noted that the lengthy liquidation process could be canceled as needed.

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Poland's state-owned media has become the first battleground between… Tusk's coalition government The Law and Justice Party and its allies.

Duda's chief of staff, Maren Mastaleric, accused the new culture minister of behaving like a “typical aggressor.”

Separately, PiS lawmaker Joanna Leczowka claimed that “the Tusk government is destroying Polish media.”

But the new government defended its agenda.

“We are sure that our actions are in line with the law,” Tusk said in a press conference on Wednesday.

zc/dj (Reuters, AFP)