WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement expressing concerns following the Polish government’s proposed advertising tax targeting independent media:
“I am deeply concerned by the Polish government’s effort to impose a new tax on independent media companies’ advertising revenue. This measure could undermine the financial viability of Poland’s independent media, a necessity for any democracy. No government should use the damage COVID-19 has wreaked on its finances as a pretext to undermine the free press.
“Unfortunately, this effort also comes in the wake of increasing judicial action against the freedom of speech of those seeking to establish an accurate historical record of the Nazi occupation of Poland.
“I am a strong supporter of the U.S.-Poland relationship, one that is based on shared values. Respect for a free and independent media and freedom of speech and are critical democratic values underpinning an informed and empowered citizenry, and I urge the Government of Poland to demonstrate that respect for free press by reconsidering this initiative.”