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    Did the president pressure the National Media Council into dismissing Jacek Kurski?

    The opposition in Poland raised doubts concerning the alleged demand from president Andrzej Duda to dismiss the director of the public television, Jacek Kurski in exchange for signing the bill allocating nearly two billion zloty to public media. Members of the president’s cabinet responded by saying that the head of state made no such condition.

     

    Friday’s finale of the controversies surrounding the bill for public media was a surprise for many. President Andrzej Duda gave his signature, expressing the need to fund public media, especially in regional studios, while at the same time demanding the dismissal of Jacek Kurski from his position of director of public television. At the same time, the Polish head of state rebutted the opposition’s argument that the same amount of money could have been allocated to oncology as he announced the creation of a special Medical Fund for oncology and rare diseases with an annual budget of almost 3 billion zloty. The National Media Council decided to dismiss Jacek Kurski from his position after all, despite the opposition accusing the president of violating the law by demanding this action. Officially, members of the president’s cabinet claim that they had no knowledge of any ultimatum made by the head of state, at the same time stressing that president Duda only intends to relieve some of the tensions which have been growing around the public media.

    Members of the opposition are sceptical of the idea of the Medical Fund, asking from where the ruling party will obtain the required money. Members of the ruling Law and Justice party in turn say that all the details will be presented in the coming days.  

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