Friday, February 26, 2016

No. 8 - Opinion of the German MEP

synopsis and translation Zbyszek Koralewsk , editing Prof. Anthony J. Bajdek 
link to the original article:

There are two reasons for attacks on the new government in Poland: the Polish opposition did not come to terms with its defeat in the elections, and the other due to 
the fact that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe: Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia, are not enthusiastic about EU centralism, and they do not want to have a second Moscow in the form of Brussels, which will tell them what to do -- says Hans-Olaf Henkel, the German MEP (Member of European Parliament) from the EK fraction, in an interview with the weekly "Into the stuff ".

Hans-Olaf Henkel PAP/EPA / DPA

Dominika Ćosić: Did the Prime Minister Beata Szydło succeed during the debate
in the European Parliament (EP) to convince the skeptics ?
Hans-Olaf Henkel: With skeptics she did not. In the EP there are people who just do not want to be convinced. You can show them the facts, clearly and lucidly, and they still will not admit them (i.e., the facts) to their consciousness and will continue to stick to their ideology. 
This presentation, however, had an impact on people who have open minds.

And there are those?

-I think so. But certainly the farther to the left and the farther to the right [one may be], it is harder to meet these types of people. It is clear that the Polish opposition can not accept that they lost the election. This is a Polish problem. I can only appeal to the current Polish opposition [to] the Polish problem not to make [it a] European [problem]. Growing tensions hurt Poland and Europe. The second axis of the division concerned ideology because there are [those] in the EP parties wanting greater centralization of the Union -- federalism -- and those for whom such a vision is not acceptable. The new Polish government, like me, belongs to the latter group. And it was [thus] 
the second division of supporters of and opponents to European centralism.

What according to you is the main reason for the attacks on the new Polish government?

-There are two reasons about the first I have already stated: the Polish opposition does not come to terms with its defeat in the election, which was visible even in the discussion. The second reason stems from the fact that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe: Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia are not enthusiastic about EP centralism and do not want to have a second Moscow in the form of Brussels, which tells them what to do.
And in all of this there is an additional German element which makes the whole situation even more dramatic and difficult. As a German, who is reading [and] watching international media, I notice clearly that the German media and German politicians are leading the criticism of the Polish government. Something like that I can hardly see in the French press, a relatively small extent in the UK, [and] in Italy the theme is almost non-existent. A little bit is written about it in Austria and the Netherlands. This strong German instructive voice has a good cause – Germans have ambition to be a global moral superpower. They want to save the world's climate, marginalize nuclear energy, save the eurozone; [they] saved Greece three times, along with Ireland, Portugal, Spain, [and] now save refugees from different countries. Finally, they believe that they have to save Polish democracy. The reason for this moral arrogance of many German politicians -- and the best example is the chairman Schulz -- is that the generation of Germans born after the war feels obliged to show its high, overblown morality.
Mr Schulz attacks Poland, speaking [either] of a coup or of democracy in the style of Putin. It is not only the greatest wickedness, I've heard, while an MEP, but also a total lack of respect for 
the letter of the law. Everyone says that we should wait for the verdict of the Venice Commission, while this man does not wait, because he had already judged Poland. I asked him in a speech to apologize to the Polish people. He did not do it. Why?

A spokesman for the Chancellor distanced himself recently from the comments of some German politicians calling for the imposition of sanctions on Poland. 
-Ideas such as imposing sanctions on Poland are ridiculous, completely ridiculous.
Fortunately, they will not be realized, because it would be the end of the European Union.

How should the Polish government be in responding to the attacks by Mr. Schulz and 
the German government? Do not treat Mr. Shultz as a representative of the government
in Berlin and possibly answer only to him?

-My advice is that the Polish government should be confident in responding and show it. Do not attack the German Government for the words of Mr. Schulz. 
The German government, moreover, has serious problems now, and they are on several fronts. About the effects of "policy of Willkommen" [i.e., "Welcome"] I have alredy stated, and it is also 
a question of giving up nuclear energy, which has caused a dramatic increase in energy prices. 
The price of electricity in Germany is the second highest in the world. For this reason, many foreign and German companies begin to retreat from Germany. The crisis in the eurozone has not been resolved; Greece does not carry out reforms. In short, Mrs. Merkel does not need to open another front, that being,
 the deterioration of relations with Poland. And there is also no reason to "teach" the Polish government. And the government in Warsaw should be aware of that.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

No.7 - Today's Targowica

author: Prof. Vladimir J. Korab-Karpowicz
(translation Zbyszek Koralewski, editing Prof. Anthony J. Bajdek)

The original article was published January 3, 2016 by A303W POLSKA:

Today's Targowica uses the slogan "threatened democracy." Instead of appeals to Moscow, today's appeals are to Brussels. The motivations, however, are the same: the defense of their [i.e.,Nowoczesna, KOD and others] interests and lost privileges. Today there are not aristocratic privileges, but the party’s privileges.

  We all probably remember from school textbooks what Targowica had been, but it is worth recalling this story. When the party of reform led to the enactment in 1791 of the May 3rd Constitution, which cut the excessive privileges of the nobility and led to a positive reform of the state, a group of those dissatisfied appeared, who supposedly in the name of "endangered freedom", but actually defending their own interests, formed a confederation in Targowica. The aim of the Targowicans was to abolish the Constitution of May 3rd and restore the old privileges. To achieve their goal, they did not hesitate to ask Moscow for help.

Politics can be understood in two ways: as an art of governing, or as a struggle for power. If in coming to govern are people whose aim is to benefit the state [or simply stated, the public in general] politics acquires the characteristics of the art of governing, and therefore, control of the state in a way that serves the general good [of society] and reinforces its strength. Dr. Andrzej Duda’s winning the presidential election and the PiS in the parliamentary elections is an expression of the will of the majority of society. The majority concluded that the previous ruling party -- PO -- and associated with it ideologically President Bronislaw Komorowski didn't rule the state well. Society refused [to extend] further credit of its trust. That's what democracy is. In a country with a democratic system, power can be exchanged. Currently, it happened in Poland.

PO, Modern and other groups associated with the opposition, as once with the group of people opposing the Constitution of May 3rd, they [PO, Modern] can not come to terms with the loss. The political loss means curtailing the privileges associated with the exercise of power. They are supported by a considerable number of the media which proves that the media are not independent. Programs run by Lis, Kraska and many other well-known journalists are clearly biased. Also, they get support from politicians such Walesa and Cimoszewicz, whose political lives have already ended long ago. So clearly, they want to take on this opportunity, and even from the [political] grave, to remind about their existence.

The main argument of the opposition is that the PiS does not have an explicit program, and it wants to dominate the Polish political scene. Meanwhile, in January 2014 the congress of PiS was held, on which the program framework had been carefully delineated; and if it comes to the second plea, the winners always hold winning in their palm. It goes without saying that the center-right party, and this is Law and Justice, will move away from the solutions of the liberal-leftist PO, and put in place their own.

Modern democracy is based, on the one hand, on free, regular elections, and on the other, on ensuing basic civil liberties, such as freedom of speech, religion and assembly. Both due to the system of legislation and social practice, Poland is one of the most democratic countries in the world. For example, the way the media criticize the government now would be in many countries unthinkable. Poles have the freedom to manifest their views and association, and most importantly, have the opportunity to recall authority, in regular elections, which did not meet their expectations or abused their trust.

Freedom should be distinguished from anarchy. Anarchy is chaos, manipulation, confusing intent,
undermining of authority. The current actions of Modern, KOD and other groups directed against the democratically elected President of the Republic and the winning PiS party, are spreading anarchy in Poland and do not have much in common with democracy. Rather than being called "the Committee of Defense of Democracy", CoD should rather be called CoA (Committee of Anarchy). When, in turn, Walesa and others go so far as to defame the President of Poland and the Polish Government abroad, they reveal themselves as today's Targowica whose desire is not concerned about the common good, but its own [benefit], and in this quest do not hesitate to request assistance of foreign powers.

Poland has an old democratic tradition, dating back to the 1st Republic, but of democracy apparently, we still must learn together. It is essential to distinguish democracy from anarchy. The enormous value of democracy is the possibility of sharing power, but this exchange can not take place under the influence of pressure groups or organized by their protests, but through democratic elections. Victorious parties should be accorded the credit of trust and an appreciation of the fact that its choice expresses the will of the majority in society.

Vladimir J. Korab-Karpowicz

Vladimir Julian Korab-Karpowicz, philosopher and political thinker. He studied at the Gdansk University of Technology (electrical engineering) and Catholic University of Lublin (philosophy). He received his doctorate from Oxford University, and habilitation at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. In 1991-1992, he was vice-president of Gdańsk. He worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as First Secretary of the Polish Embassy in Oslo, and was an adviser to the European Commission. Professor/instructor of Lazarski University in Warsaw and Zayed University in Dubai. The author of the "Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus" and many other works in the field of political philosophy.

More about changes in Poland :