There is only a little over a month left until the parliamentary elections in Poland. What catches observers’ attention is their stakes. The American “The Atlantic Monthly” believes that this is a key test of whether Poland will be able to turn away from “autocratic populism”. In turn, POLITICO describes PiS’s efforts to show the leader of the largest opposition party as a de facto traitor. The German “Der Spiegel” warned on Friday that if Poland does not change its political course, it is at risk of losing multi-billion EU aid.
Foreign media are watching the ongoing election campaign in Poland more and more closely and are increasingly boldly describing the political struggle for power in our country. POLITICO points out that the October elections in Poland largely turned into a personal struggle between the two leaders of the largest parties – Donald Tusk and Jaroslaw Kaczynski. According to the portal’s journalists, the election campaign of Law and Justice has the following tactic: take any topic of discussion and turn it into a personal attack on Tusk. “Their favorite trick is to take advantage of Poland’s greatest historical wrongs and portray the pro-EU former president of the European Council as a pro-German politician and even a Nazi who will sell out his nation. (…) They also try to show him colluding with Russia, another eternal enemy of Poland.” Politico writes.
Journalists from the British “The Guardian” suggested that Law and Justice politicians tend to choose the divisive issues around which they create their campaign narrative, and “for two terms of office, they tried to build their majority on denigrating and marginalizing minorities.” “With elections approaching, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party quickly resorts to one of the most primitive strategies in European politics. In 2019, Jarosław Kaczyński described LGBT rights as a “threat to Polish identity”. (…) Four years later illegal immigration has become a polarizing topic.
The American monthly “The Atlantic Monthly” admits that on the one hand, the upcoming elections will be a key test of whether Poles will be able to resist authoritarian populism, and on the other hand – the last chance for the opposition to “stop the country’s descent into autocracy.” Like Hungary, Poland was once an exemplary success story of the post-communist transition to democracy, but like Hungary, its reputation began to deteriorate when far-right populists came to power.
Poland vs EU
“For years, the ruling Law and Justice party in Poland pursued a program aimed at restoring its conservative Catholic roots in the country. It banned abortion. It opposes equal rights for the LGBT community and used public media to propagate its party’s vision,” reported the American National Public Radio. . Euronews television also spoke about the Polish elections. “At the convention, Jarosław Kaczyński promised new social and military spending. On the other hand, the Civic Coalition wants to reverse the negative trends in foreign and domestic policy, as well as securing funds frozen by the European Union,” Euronews reported.
The German “Der Spiegel” also warned on Friday that if Poland does not change its political course, it is at risk of losing multi-billion EU aid. “If the government of Law and Justice does not make concessions in the dispute over the rule of law with the European Commission, Poland will lose virtually all structural assistance from the European Union at the turn of the year,” warns Der Spiegel. Importantly, German journalists do not write about blocked funds for the National Reconstruction Plan, but about funds, inter alia, from the cohesion fund.
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Main photo source: PAP/Radek Pietruszka