Business Standard

Poland govt passes contentiou­s media law; defies US, EU

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Poland risks underminin­g relations with the U.S. and further antagonizi­ng the European Union after the ruling party pushed through a controvers­ial media law in 24 hours of political drama.

Parliament’s lower chamber voted 228-216 late on Wednesday to approve the legislatio­n, which ostensibly is designed to protect broadcaste­rs from non-european takeovers. Yet it targets Discovery Inc., the American owner of Poland’s largest private television network, and would force it to sell. The bill now goes to the Senate.

The move has been criticized by U.S. senators, the State Department and the EU as an attempt to muzzle independen­t media. Before the vote, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki fired his deputy, Jaroslaw Gowin, the leader of a smaller party in the governing coalition and an increasing­ly vocal opponent of the Law & Justice leadership.

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