It’s just over 3 months since the Poland Law and Justice party (PiS) won control over the country and ever since then they have been embroiled in a series of controversies.
First there have been a series of controversies over the press and media freedoms since the Conservative party came to power with a promise of supporting Catholic ideals and supporting families with economic aid. Many of the country’s leading media have seen new leader’s who are sympathetic to the new party. In addition the new government has packed judges into the highest courts to boost it’s power base and prevent controversial legislation being blocked.
The latest laws implemented have seen increased the governments control over the prosecutor’s office and expanded surveillance laws to the police and security services. Many are worried not only about the authoritarian approach by the new Government but also how it will bring it into conflict with European democratic rules and standards.
The weakness of the economy is the government’s most important focus and one of the areas they are focusing on is the disparity between foreign and domestic capital, Foreign companies transfer over 20 billion euros every year from the Polish economy. More than 50% of the Poland’s GDP comes from foreign capital supported companies, and there are estimated to be only 6 Polish companies who can effectively operate on the world stage.
This is where the Government hope that they can redress the balance and rebuild Polish companies by increasing state control to support domestic companies. The hope is that Poland can become less dependent on foreign capital in strategic sectors like banks, energy and the media. Although it should be noted that the high growth experienced by the Polish economy over the last few years has largely been the result of foreign investment.
The worry is that an open European market does not work alongside nationalistic interventionist economic policies. Freedom of the press is important and you can already seen that criticism and problems are being suppressed in the media, although you’ll need a Polish proxy to see them on internet sites based outside Poland.
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