Berlin and Warsaw on friendly terms once more?
Angela Merkel has visited Warsaw and met with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło and PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński. During the visit she stressed the importance of independent justice and media. Szydło assured the chancellor that her country would cooperate with her on European policy issues and Kaczyński alluded to a detente in German-Polish relations. Commentators analyse why the mood at the meeting was so friendly.
Trump awakening Europe's survival instinct
What prompted Poland to suddenly receive Merkel so warmly after months of the German chancellor voicing displeasure with Warsaw? Lidové noviny asks:
“Perhaps this has to do with the mirror President Trump is holding up to Europe. America's security guarantee for Europe is no longer as clear as it used to be. Jarosław Kaczyński no doubt forgot that not so long ago he accused Angela Merkel of having imperial ambitions. But he would prefer a Merkel Germany to one led by Martin Schulz. The latter would no doubt stand up to Trump, but perhaps it would also show more understanding for the US president's openness towards Russia. This is mere speculation. But it would explain Kaczyński's statement in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that 'Ms Merkel would be the best alternative for us'. All in all it looks like the mirror Trump is holding up to Europe is awakening its survival instinct.”
Merkel has thrown Poland a lifeline
The Polish government needs Merkel as a strong partner, Gazeta Wyborcza argues:
“With her visit to Warsaw she has basically tossed us a lifeline, and our government mustn't hesitate to grab it with both hands. ... Let's be honest: our geopolitical situation isn't the best. To the east Vladimir Putin is flexing his muscles. The war in Ukraine is dragging on and Ukrainian soldiers continue to die in Donbass while domestic reforms move ahead at a snail's pace. We don't know whether Moscow will enter another aggerssive phase, or for how long Ukraine will be a stable country. ... And Belarus remains an unpredictable buffer state.”