Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, has signed an order to liquidate state media due to President Andrzej Duda’s veto of the budget law that provided funds for their financing.
The Polish ministry published the relevant statement on Twitter (X).
“In connection with the decision of the President of the Republic of Poland to stop funding public media, I have decided to liquidate Telewizja Polska S.A., Polskie Radio S.A., and Polska Agencja Prasowa S.A.,” Senkiewicz was quoted as saying.
These companies operate the public broadcaster TVP, the radio station Polskie Radio, and the news agency PAP, respectively.
The Polish minister explained that the liquidation will ensure the functioning of the companies, restructure them, and prevent layoffs.
The minister emphasized that the liquidation status “can be revoked by the owner (i.e., the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, Ed.) at any time.”
Last week, Polish President Andrzej Duda vetoed the budget law, arguing that he did not agree with the allocation of 3 billion zlotys for “illegally seized public media.”
Duda’s assertion looks ironic since the PiS party faced accusations of establishing total control over the state media during its 8-year rule.
The new government, headed by Civic Platform leader Donald Tusk, prioritized replacing the leadership of these media outlets. And the number one target was Polish Television (TVP), which was perceived as the main mouthpiece of the Law and Justice right-wing party’s propaganda during its time in power.
When the new government (the Civic Platform) replaced the leadership of the state media, the new opposition (the former government, the PiS party) claimed an attack on democracy and promised large-scale rallies in defense of “free media.”
President Andrzej Duda has submitted an alternative draft law, which, among other things, provides for an increase in teacher salaries.
For his part, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk proposed to allocate part of the 3 billion zlotys for the treatment of children’s oncology and promised that his government would prepare a new draft budget law that would provide for these funds.