Faced with domestic criticism, Warsaw takes on Berlin


Portrait of protestor as he holds sign read in Czech 'Black Friday' during protest in support of free Polish media in central Prague, Czech Republic 09 January 2016. The protest was organised by the nonpartisan Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD) to support demonstrations were held in Poland. The new Polish conservative government, which took power in November 2015, has enraged portions of the population with the new measures, which give newly installed conservative judges a greater say on the nation's highest court and lets the government install a political appointee to head public broadcasters. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party compared the demonstrators to Russian President Vladimir Putin, a leader who has done much to put state controls on his nation's media. But the government has said the media law is necessary, since state media became too biased during the eight years before the new administration took over. However, opponents say PiS officials routinely boycotted media programmes and did not respond to invitations.

In breaking a long standing political taboo, Warsaw makes the nationality of a European Commissioner the essence of its criticism

Faced with domestic criticism on a law on media freedom, Warsaw is targeting Berlin and Commissioner Günther Oettinger for being German.

The German Ambassador to Poland, Wilelm Nikel, is invited to the Polish Foreign Ministry on Monday for explanations on “anti-Polish” remarks made by German politicians. He is to meet the Foreign Minister, Witold Waszczykowski, in what the Ministry spokesman described as "a conversation among partners."

The Law and Justice (PiS) government in Warsaw is in ...

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