US concerned about freedom of the press (and business) in Poland

Poland’s European partners have long expressed concern about respect for democracy in the country. Now the United States is also concerned about a law that would put a news channel owned by an American group at risk.

Demonstration in Poland in support of TVN against the press law © AFP / STR / NurPhoto

European countries have long expressed concerns about freedom of expression in Poland. So far, the United States has not said much on the issue until Wednesday. America is so worried about a controversial law passed by the conservative Polish parliament on Wednesday that the US secretary of state has taken the trouble to speak out.

According to the opposition, this law threatens freedom of the press … According to the United States, it mainly threatens the country’s leading news channel, TV24, which is easily critical of the government and is owned by the American Discovery Group. This is why the US is taking the lead: TVN Group, which owns TV24, It is the largest American investment in Poland. It owns dozens of television stations, employs 4,200 people, and is valued at $1 billion.

A very narrow majority vote was obtained

However, the tone of its main channel clearly resents the power of the PIS party, the Law and Justice party headed by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawieck. The media law also led to the bombing of the government coalition, which hastened the departure of one of its constituent formations. The day before the law was presented to the Polish Diet, the Deputy Prime Minister withdrew: at the head of the Consensus Party, one of the three parties that made up the right-wing coalition, Jaroslav Goyen left the government: according to him, this new law “It clearly violates the principle of freedom of the press.

But to get its text on Wednesday evening, the government, which no longer had a clear majority in the House of Representatives (Diet) at first, succeeded in getting the law to be postponed, putting it to a vote… The President of the Diet decides to vote for the House again, To overthrow four deputies from a small anti-regime party, Kukiz, for a very narrow majority. The leader of the formation announced that the deputies had “deceive“During the first vote… under the chanting cries of opposition members.”crooksParliament adopted the text on Wednesday evening.

Forced the United States to abandon their group?

If the text ends up being ratified by the Senate and then passed, American group Discovery should be forced to sell 51% of its shares in TVN For Polish investors, making it possible to clearly influence the editorial line of the country’s leading news channel … which was undoubtedly the object of the maneuver.

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