The events happened a day ahead of a key parliamentary vote on a law that would bar companies from beyond the European Economic Area from owning a majority stake in Polish media companies. According to Politico.eu, critics say this is largely aimed at the popular TVN broadcaster, owned by Discovery of the U.S., which irritates the government with its independent news coverage. Thousands of protesters took to the streets Tuesday evening to demonstrate against the bill, complaining it endangers press freedom.
On Wednesday, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party pushed through the media reform. Washington has warned Warsaw not to proceed with the legislation, but Poland’s ruling party wasn’t deterred, Politico.eu reports. The bill proposes only allowing companies majority-owned by entities from the European Economic Area to hold broadcast licenses.