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Polish president tangles with new authorities in battle over management of state media

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WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s political battle over state media continued on Wednesday as the brand new pro-European Union authorities put them in a state of liquidation in response to the president’s rejection of funding for them.

New Prime Minister Donald Tusk seeks to free the media from political management. President Andrzej Duda, an ally of the earlier conservative authorities, vetoed the brand new authorities’s invoice that offered 3 billion zlotys ($762 million) for the general public media. Duda proposed a brand new invoice that strips that funding out.

Liquidation provides the state TV, radio and information company and their workers extra safety from the political dispute, securing their jobs regardless of the shortage of funding and permitting for restructuring. The brand new authorities mentioned the prolonged liquidation course of could be revoked as wanted.

Poland’s state-owned media have grow to be the primary battleground between the coalition authorities of Tusk, a former prime EU determine, and the conservative Legislation and Justice get together, which held energy for eight years till Dec. 13. Its members and allies retain a presence at state TV, radio and information company headquarters.

Duda stays in workplace for one more 12 months and a half, and his veto is an early signal of difficulties Tusk is more likely to face. Some observers say Legislation and Justice seeks to keep up management of state media and push its message forward of native administration and European Parliament elections subsequent 12 months in hopes of regaining some energy.

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Tusk mentioned his Cupboard would submit a brand new invoice that takes Duda’s views into consideration and shifts the funding in query from state media to youngsters’s health care. He additionally mentioned untangling the previous ruling get together’s grip on state media would take time.

“We’re positive that our actions are in keeping with the legislation,” Tusk advised a information convention.

Tusk gained energy on guarantees to revive nationwide unity and democratic norms, together with by way of the reform of public media. His authorities holds 248 seats within the 460-member decrease home, or Sejm. Its subsequent session is Jan. 10-11.

Public media in Poland is funded by taxpayers and is required by the structure to be freed from political bias. However critics have accused Legislation and Justice of utilizing media as a propaganda mouthpiece that has divided the nation by spreading disinformation, xenophobic and homophobic content material and in search of to discredit Tusk and different pro-EU politicians.

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