The Polish parliament’s lower house has passed a controversial media law that the government says is needed to stop foreign powers from taking control over the country’s broadcasters. The opposition says the government is using the new law to stop a government-critical TV channel.
Next step is that the media law is sent to the Senate. If the Senate would make changes, the law can be returned to the lower house of the parliament that has the final say.
The legislations aims to limit non-EU ownership of broadcasters in the country. Opposition says the ideas is to force US company Discovery to sell the country’s biggest TV network, TVN. Discovery owns TVN via a subsidiary based in Holland.
Protesters gathered outside the parliament in Warsaw, and the BBC reports there were rallies in Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan, Lublin and Szczecin.
Prior to the voting in the parliament, prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, fired his deputy, Jaroslaw Gowin, who was against the new media legislation and who is the leader of a smaller party that together with the Law and Justice party forms a coalition government. His party, called Agreement, is expected to leave to coalition.