Scholz in Warsaw: all set for closer collaboration?

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has received German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Warsaw. At the first German-Polish government consultations since Tusk's centre-left alliance replaced the right-wing conservative government, both sides stressed their commitment to closer cooperation, particularly on security policy. But on the contentious topic of war reparations both leaders remained vague.

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Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

Reach an agreement on the past

Tygodnik Powszechny comments:

“The lack of concrete answers on the question of reparations for German crimes makes it impossible to speak of a new beginning in German-Polish relations. ... Cooperation between Poland and Germany is crucial, especially on the most important issue, that of support for Ukraine and strengthening Nato and the EU in the event of the Russian-Ukrainian war escalating or heading in a negative direction for us. And it's all very well that the two governments are forging joint positions on these fundamental issues, but for the Polish public to believe in the strength of this alliance, the politicians must first reach an agreement on the past.” (PL) /

Tusk letting Scholz humiliate the country

Tusk has given up the demands for reparations but received nothing concrete in return, criticises the right-wing news website wPolityce:

“A report has been commissioned and published. Specific sums have been calculated and they must be demanded. Tusk has given up on this in exchange for empty gestures, which, by the way, were made carelessly, sloppily and thoughtlessly. ... It's been a long time since Poland has been as humiliated as it was today during the joint press conference given by Tusk and Scholz.”

Die Welt (DE) /

There will be no honeymoon

Poland will remain a difficult partner for Germany, the daily paper Welt points out:

“On the issue of migration, for example, Poland's new government is closer to the old one than to the German Social Democrats or even the Greens. The same goes for defence readiness. And Poland will also remain stubborn on the issue of compensation, which Germany has so far put on the back burner. There will be no German-Polish honeymoon.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Berlin needs to get specific

The Süddeutsche Zeitung urges the German side to give generous compensation:

“The fact that Olaf Scholz failed to name a specific sum as a financial gesture to the surviving victims during his visit to Warsaw is not good. It's true that the commitment to guarantee the future security of Poland and Europe is also a lesson from history. Nevertheless, a clearer signal must be sent quickly with regard to compensation if the fresh start in relations between the two countries is really to succeed. After such a long wait.”