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Protests across Poland over law restricting foreign media ownership

PROTESTS took place in cities across Poland yesterday against a media law restricting foreign ownership.

Poland’s parliament passed the Bill, presented as a national security issue to ensure non-EU firms cannot control companies that help shape public opinion, on Friday.

The lower house had passed it over the summer but it was vetoed in the Senate. However, the new vote overrides the Senate’s veto.

Among the most significant consequences will be forcing US firm Discovery Inc to sell its controlling share of TVN, the biggest TV network in Poland.

Opposition leader Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister and ex-EU president, said the free media was at risk.

“Let’s sweep this power away!” he told crowds in Warsaw.

The law will not take effect unless approved by President Andrzej Duda, who has declined to say whether he will block it. The United States yesterday urged him to do so.

Restrictions on foreign-owned media are spreading in multiple countries, with British regulator Ofcom banning Chinese channel CGTN earlier this year.


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