Berlin and Brussels as bogeymen in Poland

In the conflict over Poland's controversial judicial reform many voices in other EU countries are calling for stringent measures against Warsaw. Within Poland these demands have fanned anti-European and anti-German sentiment. Pro-PiS media have for example reported that Germany financed the protests of recent weeks. Commentators look at how Berlin and Brussels are being portrayed in Poland.

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Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

Effective anti-German rhetoric

Gazeta Wyborcza believes the PiS is intentionally whipping up anger against Germany and the EU:

“The PiS has always used anti-German rhetoric, among other things to win the elections in 2005. Back then it dug up the fact that the grandfather of [then] Civic Platform leader Donald Tusk had been in the Wehrmacht. At the same time Jarosław Kaczyński went to great lengths to convince people that Szczecin was a Polish city even though no one had questioned the fact. This time there's a different focus. The PiS's media want to prepare its voters for a conflict with the EU. They want to show that the Germans are behind the sanctions that the European Commission may soon impose on Poland, and that the protests against the lifting of the judiciary's independence - as well as all organisations that oppose the PiS - are financed by Berlin.”

The Guardian (GB) /

EU's threats only strengthen the PiS

The Guardian also believes that the government in Warsaw is using the conflict with other EU states to its own advantage:

“Liberals and progressives are making a big mistake in thinking they can shame Law and Justice supporters with warnings about Poland's diminishing status in the west. In fact, they are blowing the wind in PiS's sails. ... That is because most people don't vote but they may be motivated to by a new conflict between supporters of closer EU integration and Eurosceptics. ... The threatened EU sanctions are likely to lead to a polarisation of Polish society along the lines seen in the Brexit and Trump campaigns.” (PL) /

Germany has no right to criticise Poland

The interference of Brussels and Berlin is completely unacceptable, writes the pro-government news portal

“The intrusive, increasingly aggressive and hostile attempts of the Brussels bureaucrats to exert pressure on Poland will lead nowhere. Because this attack based on flimsy pretexts is worth as little as the political hooligans in Brussels. … Just as repulsive is the involvement of German representatives in this political attack. They are the last to have the right to warn us to obey rules. If the German hordes together with the Moscow bandits hadn't attacked us in 1939 we would certainly be a far more prosperous and wealthy state than we are today.”