Politics World

Foreign meddling: German-owned Polish media try to impact elections, PM says

Polish media has been “sold out” to Germany, Poland’s prime minister has lamented, adding that the foreign-owned outlets have considerable influence over Warsaw’s internal affairs.

“Today, the media are in foreign hands, for the most part in German hands,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told Republika TV on Wednesday. “These German media have become particularly active during the campaigns for local elections.”

Morawiecki, who is a member of the right-wing nationalist ruling party Law and Justice (PiS), noted that other countries – including Germany – take measures to protect their media from foreign ownership. “In Germany, they say that their newspapers must be in their hands, and in Poland, the Germans bought the main Polish media.”

“Do not let yourself be fooled!” he added.

A number of Polish media outlets are foreign-owned. The German-Swiss media group Ringier Axel Springer Media, for example, controls Newsweek Polska magazine and Fakt, one of the country’s best-selling dailies, modelled after the German tabloid Bild.

Poland will hold regional elections on Sunday.

The prime minister’s complaint may make for some awkward diplomatic small talk later this week. On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly expected to attend the 15th German-Polish Government Consultation in Warsaw. The summit could be further marred by recent claims from Warsaw that Poland was never properly compensated for its wartime loses during World War Two.

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