PiS against re-election of Tusk

The national conservative Polish ruling party PiS has formally presented MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski as a counter-candidate for the post of European Council President. The current president Donald Tusk is running for re-election at the EU summit this week. Not only Poland's press shakes its head at the PiS's move.

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Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

A dispute fuelled by personal aversion

The skirmish over Donald Tusk has nothing to do with European politics, Hospodářské noviny writes:

“To understand this prolonged and pointless dispute we have to look at the personal motives of those involved. Polish politics has been dominated by the tensions between Jarosław Kaczyński and Donald Tusk since 2005. They have been the motor driving the country's politics. The relations became particularly personal and emotional in 2010 after the plane crash in which Jarosław Kaczyński's brother Lech, who was president at the time, died. For Kaczyński and his loyal politicians Tusk is the embodiment of a traitor - making deals with Poland's eternal enemies Russia and Germany. … According to a survey by Rzeczpospolita 54 percent of the Poles would like to see Tusk continue as the head of the European Council, while twenty-seven percent are against him - the core of the ruling Law and Justice Party's voter base. It is for them that Kaczyński is playing his game, even though he must know that he can't win.”

Fakt (PL) /

Disaster after disaster in PiS's foreign policy

Saryusz-Wolski's useless candidacy is latest blunder in the current Polish leadership's weak foreign policy, the conservative tabloid Fakt writes:

“The PiS government should in fact be bolstering our reputation in Europe, which the purportedly so evil Tusk chipped away at for years. We should finally become more active in foreign policy and win allies. And what's happening? Well for a start we don't have any allies at all. ... The PiS doesn't even try to hide the fact that Saryusz-Wolski doesn't stand a chance of becoming EU Council president. The only thing it cares about is that it's not the evil Tusk again! And what do our potential allies in Eastern Europe say? They're afraid that a Western European will occupy the post. And for the PiS the Western Europeans are just a bunch of softies who follow German propaganda to the letter.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Poland's conservatives make fools of themselves

Poland shouldn't take its internal conflicts to Brussels, the conservative paper Rzeczpospolita demands:

“Of course, as a politician Saryusz-Wolski is well-known in Europe, and he is very familiar with the realities of Brussels. But that doesn't change the fact that he doesn't stand a chance of becoming EU Council president. By officially refusing to support Tusk and presenting its own candidate, the PiS is doing exactly what the opposition reproaches it for: transferring domestic conflicts from Poland to the international arena. It has picked a fight with Europe looking on simply to hurt Tusk. That puts not only the PiS leaders but also the entire party in a very bad light.”

More opinions

Der Standard (AT) / 07 March 2017
  Ideological pigheadedness, pathetic dilettantism (in German)