There’s been a lot going on in Poland over the last couple of weeks. All of a sudden, Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, who served as the director of TV Polonia (Public TV in Poland) and also as the director of Belsat TV, was fired from both her positions.
Belsat TV – set up by the Polish government and public television in Poland - symbolizes freedom for Belarusians, and Romaszewska-Guzy was a modernizer who sought to develop and foster free media in Belarus, writes Polskieradio.pl.
In solidarity with Romaszewska, Paval Mazheika, a popular talk show host on Belsat, announced his resignation from the channel.
Polska (Times) claims that the firing of the director of Belsat television, Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, proves that the new president of TVP public television in Poland supports President Aleksander Lukashenko, and is a major blow to free media initiatives in Belarus.
The president of TVP Piotr Farfal, who was recently appointed to the position, is described by the Polish media as “a former editor of a Polish neo-Nazi magazine.” Check out his bio, you’ll be surprised. Farfal was reportedly a skinhead and a radical Polish nationalist.
Gazeta.pl quotes Piotr Farfal as saying “I don’t see why TVP (Polish Television) should finance Belsat TV. [Polish] television does not have a spare dime for Belsat. If the government wants this channel, let them cover the full cost of its maintenance.” Farfał underscored that “In accordance with its bylaws, TVP is not an institution obliged to produce a channel broadcasting in a foreign language to non-Polish people.”
“The transmission is carried out first and foremost for Poles. Hence I agree to the need for additional financing of TVP Polonia, which is produced for Polish expatriates, but why should TVP produce television for Belarusians for our money – that I do not understand,” said Mr. Farfal.
I understand the economic crisis is the time when it is hard to justify maintaining a satellite channel for a foreign country (especially, if you have a rightwing point of view at the world around you). But how can a rightwing politician (with such credentials) or how, actually, any politician whatsoever be appointed to preside over the public television institution in a democratic country? That I do not understand.