Govt to repolonise media: deputy PM

Poland’s deputy PM and Higher Education Minister Jarosław Gowin said that one of the government’s tasks would be to retrieve the media in Poland from foreign hands if the United Right, which is a political alliance led by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, wins this year’s forthcoming parliamentary elections.

“In case the United Right wins the parliamentary elections in the Autumn, one of the government’s tasks during its next tenure would be the repolonisation of media [in Poland],” said Deputy PM Gowin, adding that a “self-respecting state and nation must not allow a situation in which most of its media rests within foreign hands.”

During his Wednesday meeting with local businessmen and local authorities at the Kaszuby Business Incubator in the northern Polish town of Kartuzy, Mr Gowin stressed that “he entertains no obsession regarding foreign capital in [Polish] media.”

“If I, as a Pole, were, for instance, an owner of a newspaper issued in France, what would I be preoccupied with daily? For sure I would be concerned about selling the largest number of issues so that my business rolls smoothly,” Mr Gowin exemplified, adding that “however, if a conflict of interests arose between Poland and France, as a Polish patriot I would clearly exert myself to present the Polish point of view.”

Mr Gowin said that most of the press in Poland belongs to German concerns. “Why should we assume that German owners [of media] are worse patriots than us,” said Deputy PM Gowin, adding that “they are patriots as well albeit German patriots. And when a conflict of interests between Poland and Germany arises, these newspapers present the German point of view and German interests.”

Social policy checklist nearly fulfilled

According to Mr Gowin, the current government has achieved “nearly everything what should have been achieved”, adding that people with disabilities and their families still need material support.

“The following years won’t come under the banner of social transfers, yet they need to be focused on ensuring that the whole of Poland is… flourishing with business activities,” said Deputy PM Gowin, adding that “we need to improve the state’s functionality, improve the quality of broadly-understood state institutions, starting with the public health service.”

Mr Gowin also said that pitting “strong local authorities vs a weak state” and “a strong state at the expense of local authorities” is a flawed contrast, stressing that “the state may be strong and advance efficiently only when it has both a well-functioning administration and strong local authorities