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In an interview for the government-friendly weekly "Sieci" published on Monday, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party Jarosław Kaczyński signaled going on a head-on collision course with the EU. Already the day before, another outlet close to the ruling camp, w polityce.pl, advertised the interview calling it "groundbreaking". - I already said it in mid-July: "now, enough is enough". And I stand by that. We have shown maximum goodwill, we made big compromises. We had to try if only to make things clear. And today it is clear, everyone can see what the issue is, what kind of game this is- Kaczyński said in the interview.
Moments later, however, he added that not everyone sees what the EU is playing at, because "some people want to hold on to their foolishness, their illusions, and others are cynically counting on the fortunes they will make when Poland is enslaved". According to Kaczyński, speculators "with access to the right knowledge" are hoping to make fortunes when "Poland eventually joins the eurozone". But "the rest should understand and accept that an attempt is being made at taking away our freedom, sovereignty, and robbing us".
Michał Karnowski, Kaczyński’s interviewer, inquires what "enough is enough" means, and asks about the tools the Polish government has at its disposal "against the European Commission and its lawless games?". Kaczyński responds by saying that "the time will come to talk about the details", and adds that it will not be about withholding Poland’s EU budget contributions. First, PiS must "take care of Polish citizens, take measures that will lower energy costs". Karnowski worries about what will happen, because "the EU will probably declare an all-out war, impose penalties, and try to block money transfers from the main budget". Kaczyński goes on to accuse the EU of trying to "break Poland and force it into full submission to Germany" and "finding ever new excuses for blocking the funds". And all of this allegedly "pushes Poland against the wall".
The leader of the Law and Justice party announces that if PiS wins the 2023 parliamentary election, it will make sure to reshape Poland’s relations with the EU. Karnowski then asks whether the change of course will lead to changes in the government. Kaczyński answers that it certainly will, but does not give any names. He assures his interviewer, however, that there will be no changes when it comes to the prime minister or key members of the government.
Talking about relations with the European Union in the context of Poland’s rule of law issues, Kaczyński says that "the purpose of these interventions was not to protect the European rule of law, but to dismantle the rule of law in Poland". In his view, "everyone can already see that". He recalls that in 2017 President Andrzej Duda vetoed the judicial bills, and because of that "today we would be in a completely different situation, the matter would be over". Poland would probably be still negotiating with Brussels, "but from a completely different position". Kaczyński also has a message for Polish judges, who "need to be reminded of a basic fact". - They have an obligation to obey Polish law, and the only place to evaluate their constitutionality is the Constitutional Court- he says.
He states that Poland is divided into two camps. - On one side, our side, we have the pro-Polish, independence, patriotic and democratic camp. Opposite of us are forces that reject democracy, ruthlessly taking advantage of accumulated resources and institutional advantages. They want a Poland that is weak, submissive to the neighboring powers- he says, adding that all of this reminds him of 1989.
He blames the polarization on Donald Tusk, who "continues his efforts to radically brutalize, even animalize public discourse. I see the continuation of a certain tradition in this: our enemies have always wanted a primitive, vulgar Poland that rejects culture. This is what Tusk is doing on behalf of foreign powers. The master here is Germany. It wants to rule the world from its headquarters in Berlin". -Brussels plays a supporting role here- Kaczyński claims.
Echoing the argument of Adam Glapiński, the head of Poland’s National Bank, Kaczyński says that one of the goals of "the plan to topple the current government is to pull Poland away from its armament program", because "Germany knows that an opposition-run government won't go for something like this". - We do not fit into the German-Russian plans to rule Europe. An independent, sovereign, economically, socially and militarily strong Poland is an obstacle for them- he asserts.
Referring to Kaczyński’s statements, in a radio interview on Monday, the ruling party’s secretary-general Krzysztof Sobolewski announced what tactics the ruling camp will use against the European Commission. - "We will adopt a tooth-for-tooth strategy" he said, adding that he is counting on the European Commission to "come to its senses". - The Commission is going beyond the treaties and established norms- Sobolewski said. - We do not intend to leave the European Union, and we have emphasized this many times- he stressed, but added that - If Poland were to miss the main part of the EU budget, if there was an attempt to block the recovery fund money and the European Commission tried to push us against the wall, then there is nothing left for us but to pull out all the cannons that are in our arsenal and respond with barrage fire.
Commenting on Jarosław Kaczyński's warnings about "reshaping Poland’s relations with the EU" and Sobolewski’s statements about "pulling out all the cannons against the Commission", Donald Tusk said:
"Kaczyński is walking us out of the EU. He is doing it consistently and with the persistence of a maniac. All supporters of the European Union must finally understand this. The words of the Law and Justice party officials about cannons and barrage fire against Brussels sound grotesque, but, believe me, there is nothing to laugh about here anymore- Tusk wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
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