Tuesday , April 16 2024

Battle over Polish TV station just the start in Tusk’s bid to remake Poland

Public broadcaster TVP is first target in new government’s attempt to create a more tolerant country after eight years of PiS rule.

On his first day as the new head of TVP, the sprawling Polish public television broadcaster, Tomasz Sygut spent four hours locked in his office while a crowd outside banged on the door trying to gain access. Eventually, said Sygut, he had to call the police to help him escape.

The same day, two of the main TVP channels were abruptly taken off the air by the new managers, the feed replaced with holding music and the TVP logo. “The priority was to turn off the factory of hate,” Sygut said in an interview in his 10th-floor office atop TVP headquarters, with a panoramic view over Warsaw.

Appointed in December, soon after a new Polish government led by Donald Tusk took office, Sygut, 45, is at the centre of the first major battlefield in Tusk’s attempts to create a new and more tolerant Poland after eight years of rule by the rightwing, populist Law and Justice (PiS) party.

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