Poland at odds over values: tradition or progress?

Donald Tusk's governing coalition in Poland has sparked a broad debate over the importance of traditional values with proposals to cut the number of Catholic religious education classes in schools, revise curricula and negotiate the introduction of registered partnerships for homosexual couples. Commentaries in the Polish press reflect the contentiousness of such measures.

Open/close all quotes
Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

New minister repeating the mistakes of his predecessor

Gazeta Wyborcza criticises the removal of conservative authors from the school curriculum:

“What the new education ministry was actually demanding was a departure from the path paved by Nowacka's [PiS] predecessor Przemyslaw Chernek: a path full of contempt that uses the traditional reading canon as a means of taking revenge. A revenge, one should add, that is completely pointless. Both excluded writers - Dukaj and Rymkiewicz - may represent a conservative point of view, but they are outstanding authors whose works say a lot about Poland and the Poles.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

No loss whatsoever

Writing in Rzeczpospolita, journalist Daria Chibner takes a relaxed view of the cuts in religious education:

“In fact this reduction in school lessons dedicated to the subject can only be welcomed. As things stand now, apart from a few commendable exceptions pupils get absolutely nothing out of them. And then there's a widespread utter indifference to religious matters. These lessons are so ineffective that they're not even capable of producing militant atheists.”

Polityka (PL) /

The Left must make concessions

Polityka sees the political alliance Lewica (The Left) under pressure to make concessions to its more conservative coalition partners regarding the law on registered partnerships:

“The left must demonstrate its ability to act because its poll ratings are melting away. The abortion law is stuck in the parliamentary committee, the law against hate speech has not been passed, and the widow's pension has not come into force. There is a lack of successes that the alliance can be proud of. One idea that could break the deadlock would be to remove the possibility of adoption [of a partner's child], i.e. the recognition by the state of a non-biological parent.”