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Poland’s president vetoes controversial media bill

Poland’s president vetoes controversial media bill
New media bill suggests restricting foreign majority ownership in media in Poland

By Handan Kazanci

ISTANBUL (AA) – Poland’s president vetoed a controversial media bill Monday that would have restricted foreign media ownership.

Andrzej Duda sent the bill back to the Sejm, or lower house of parliament, to be rewritten, the Polish news agency PAP reported.

“I spoke about our alliances, our commitments, and I said then that agreements had to be kept," Duda said, referring to the 1990 US-Poland treaty on business and economic relations, according to the agency.

"If we have sealed an agreement, we have to stick to it. If we fail to keep our agreements, others will fail to keep theirs," he added.

Duda said that for Poles, adherence to agreements was "a matter of honor," it added.

The new media bill suggests restricting foreign majority ownership in media in Poland.

According to critics, the proposed law would force the Polish TV channel TVN's US-based owner Discovery to give up control of the station, and “it is a tool specifically aimed against the strongly government-critical broadcaster,” PAP reported.

The Polish leader's decision was also hailed by Bix Aliu, the chargé d'Affaires at the US Embassy in Warsaw.

Praising the decision, saying it showed Duda's "leadership, engagement for common democratic values and concern for the investment climate in Poland, Aliu said "allies are stronger when they are together," according to PAP.

Poland's opposition leader Donald Tusk, who served as president of the European Council from 2014-2019, also welcomed the veto, saying it was proof that pressure on the government brought results.

“Let no one ever say again that it's impossible, not worth it, or that we can't do anything anyway,” PAP quoted Tusk as saying.

source: News Feed
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