Kaczynski: Polish media controlled by 'oligarchs'

On the campaign trail ahead of Poland's October 21 snap general election, Poland's conservative-nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski Thursday lashed out against the Polish media which he claims is controlled by unspecified "

Kaczynski: Polish media controlled by 'oligarchs'
On the campaign trail ahead of Poland's October 21 snap general election, Poland's conservative-nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski Thursday lashed out against the Polish media which he claims is controlled by unspecified "oligarchs."

"The majority of media are essentially under the control of oligarchs," Kaczynski said.

Kaczynski blamed his bad press on the notion that Poland's commercial media is controlled by so-called oligarchs.

"I haven't got the slightest doubt that this bad press is the result of the bad relations of my government with the oligarchy," Kaczynski told the Thursday edition of Poland's establishment Rzeczpospolita daily, published by the Presspublica publishers.

Asked whether newspaper publishers such as Axel Springer (Fakt tabloid, Dziennik daily), Edipresse (Przekroj weeklyor Agora (Gazeta Wyborcza)are controlled by so-called oligarchs, Kaczynski said in "large measure they are."

Asked whether he has concrete evidence that this is the case Kaczynski says he "supposes" this is the case.

"I cannot illustrate this with examples at the moment.." he says.

Having loosely identified successful Polish business people as "oligarchs", Kaczynski has set a populist tone to his re-election campaign by promising to bring to justice anyone who has made their money by cheating or attempts to acquire undue influence in the state apparatus.

He also denied his PiS was falling under the influence ofthe Catholic Radio Maryja, run by controversial priest Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, but views it as a close ally.

"PiS is a party which want to gather all social forces around the super-positive social goal which is tearing Poland outof post-communism," Kaczynski said. "Radio Maryja advocates this today. It strengthens our power to fight with post-communism."

The PiS feature candidates closely tied to the radio station based in Torun, central Poland.

Opposition politicians have slammed Kaczynski for cultivating the station, known for xenophobic and anti-Semitic broadcasts, and its vast audience of predominantly elderly rural voters. Meanwhile Polish bishops have sharply criticised Rydzyk for engaging in politics.

Opposition politicians have also accused the Kaczynski government of exerting undue influence over Poland's public media including public broadcasters TVP and Polish Radio.

The snap October 21 election comes after two years of chaotic government during which Prime Minister Kaczynski was unable to establish a cohesive coalition to support his minority administration. Parliament voted last Friday to dissolve itself thereby triggering an early election.

The ballot comes amid allegations of undemocratic behaviour against Kaczynski, who opposition politicians have accused of using Poland's secret service and justice ministry to neutralise political rivals.

DPA
Last Mod: 13 Eylül 2007, 14:33
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