In a decisive move, Polish President Andrzej Duda has wielded his veto power against the budget-related bill for the year 2024, citing objections to the alterations made by the new coalition government to public media. The President expressed his discontent through a statement on the X platform on Saturday afternoon.
“I have decided to veto the budget-related bill for 2024, which included PLN 3 billion (EUR 690 million) for public media,” declared Duda. “There may be no consent to it given the blatant violation of the Constitution and the principles of a democratic state of law.”
Duda’s decision was prompted by the rapid changes implemented by the new coalition government in public media management last Wednesday. These alterations, which raised eyebrows within the ex-ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, an ally of Duda, led to the President’s critical stance.
PiS argues that only the National Media Council, a body established during PiS’s tenure, has the authority to dismiss the management of public media companies. The current ruling coalition, however, accuses PiS of stacking the council with party loyalists and transforming public media into a mouthpiece for PiS propaganda.
“An attempt to finance public media through a budget-related law (by the parliamentary majority) is in the current situation unacceptable,” Duda asserted.
While the budget-related law holds significance for the Donald Tusk government, fulfilling several promises made during the new ruling coalition’s election campaign, including a 30-percent salary increase for teachers and a 20-percent wage hike for public sector employees, Duda has outlined his alternative plan.
The President announced his intention to present his own budget-related bill to parliament, incorporating the promised salary raises. “Immediately after Christmas, I will file with the Sejm (lower house of parliament – ed.) my own draft related to the raises for teachers and other expenditures planned in the budget-related law,” stated Duda.