Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, cancels controversial media law following pressure from US

The law was controversial with many Poles, according to the president, and would have negatively impacted Poland's status as a commercial destination

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Polan president
(Photo by Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Under pressure from the United States, Poland’s president has canceled a problematic media law that had been approved by the country’s parliament.

Andrzej Duda announced on Monday that he will veto a bill that would have prompted US business Discovery to hand over control of Polish television network TVN.

The law was controversial with many Poles, according to the president, and would have negatively impacted Poland’s status as a commercial destination.

The bill was putting a lot of pressure on Duda from the US government.

He continued by stating that it is imperative for Poland to be considered a trustworthy partner by its allies.

The bill, which passed the state legislature of parliament, would have made it unlawful for any non-European business to possess more than a 49 percent share in Polish television or radio stations.

Its actual impact would have been to pressure the US owner of Poland’s major private television network, TVN, to sell the largest, if not all, of its Polish investments.

The bill was supported by Polish government leaders, which said it is critical for national security and democracy to guarantee that no firm outside of Europe has direct authority over firms that shape public opinion.

Many Poles, however, saw the law, which was backed by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), with which Duda is connected, as an attempt to shut down a broadcaster with an all-news station, TVN24, and a widely watched evening news program on its main channel.

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