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Sep 28, 2023

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News Bytes From Poland

Compiled by Robert Strybel
Warsaw Correspondent

(Updated 21 June 2023)

Poland calls mine-closure ruling a threat to energy security
“We will definitely not allow the Turów mine to be shut down. We will do everything to ensure that it functions normally until 2044 when the (lignite) deposits are exhausted,” PM Mateusz Morawiecki said in response to a ruling by the EU’s highest court which ordered the mine’s closure under pressure from German ecologists. “Somehow we don’t hear anything on this from the KO. That’s because they are conducting the kind of pro-German policy that Germany wants. That has become abundantly clear,” he added. Warsaw has defied the ruling which it says would threaten the country’s energy security, deprive four million households of electricity and throw thousands out of work. Turów works in tandem with a lignite-fired power plant.

Poland opposes EU blackmail to force acceptance of illegals
Warsaw says it will not pay a €22,000 ($23,658) “fine” for each illegal migrant it refuses to admit. Poland had also stood its ground after 2015 when Germany invited Third World migrants and tried to force other countries to accept them. After over a million mainly Muslim illegals settled across Europe, rape gangs and overall crime, punctuated by terrorist acts, have soared. Muslim no-go zones (unsafe neighborhoods), which even police are afraid to enter, appeared. But the Brussels eurocrats have apparently not learned their lesson and want to stage a re-run of that crisis. At present, hordes of Third World migrants are again storming Europe’s borders.

Is the EU brass again violating its own treaties?
The European Union’s Council decision to impose a fine on countries for each non-admitted migrant appears to be in violation of Article 79(5) of the EU Functioning Treaty which clearly states that  “migration policy is the exclusive competence of the Member States.” The Czech Republic immediately requested na exemption, saying it has hosted 380,000 Ukrainian refugees. At present, there are nearly two million Ukrainian war refugees in Poland. Poland’s Sejm has voted to condemn the coercive EU measure and announced a referendum on the issue. Seventy-six percent of Hungarians oppose forced migration, and 60% of Germans do not want to accept additional migrants. For years the Brussels eurocrats have been threatening Poland over its judicial reforms even though that is another area reserved for member states.

Poland overwhelmingly supports Ukraine’s NATO membership
The Sejm, the 460-seat, main lawmaking chamber of the Poland’s parliament, has voted overwhelmingly 443-2 with
seven abstentions in support of Ukraine’s bid to join NATO. The resolution called the move “essential” both for Ukraine and for European stability.Russia’s armed attack on Ukraine is a crime of aggression, a brutal violation of international law and a threat to global security, the resolution explained and added: “In its fight against Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine is defending its statehood and protecting shared values such as democracy and order based on international law.”

Lithuanian President wants “more Poland in Lithuania”
During recent bilateral talks, Polish President Andrzej Duda and his Lithuanian counterpart Gitanas Nausėda
touched upon the idea of deploying Polish forces to Lithuania, on a rotational or permanent basis. In a TV interview, Nausėda later said that “Lithuania’s strategic aims include ‘more Poland in Lithuania’.” Poland is developing into a military superpower and could also help bolster the security of Lithuania and other Baltic states, amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine”, Finland’s leading newspaper “Helsingin Sanomat” wrote.

Poland calls mine-closure ruling a threat to energy security
“We will definitely not allow the Turów mine to be shut down. We will do everything to ensure that it functions normally until 2044 when the (lignite) deposits are exhausted,” PM Mateusz Morawiecki said in response to a ruling by the EU’s highest court which ordered the mine’s closure under pressure from German ecologists. “Somehow we don’t hear anything on this from the KO. That’s because they are conducting the kind of pro-German policy that Germany wants. That has become abundantly clear,” he added. Warsaw has defied the ruling which it says would threaten the country’s energy security, deprive four million households of electricity and throw thousands out of work. Turów works in tandem with a lignite-fired power plant.

UN praises Poland for exemplary aid to Ukrainian refugees
The United Nations’ representative in Poland, Kevin J. Allen, has praised Poland for its spontaneous aid to Ukrainians fleeing Putin’s bombs, missiles and shelling. “
Poland’s solidarity with refugees from Ukraine has been exceptional and the international community must continue to stand with the Polish people and the refugees they have generously received,”Allen said. He was speaking in connection with World Refugee Day on behalf of the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees. Some 12 million Ukrainians have crossed into Poland since Putin launched his aggression, and about 1.5 million have settled. Others have moved to other countries or returned to Ukraine.

Opposition hate speech vs. incumbents’ video proof
As autumn’s planned parliamentary elections loom, the political campaign is heating up. Since the main opposition party, the Civic Coalition (KO), lacks a concrete program, it has mainly resorted to badmouthing the ruling conservatives and their leader Jarosław Kaczyński. At one rally its leader Donald Tusk spoke in front of a banner that read: “God, you have taken the wrong Kaczyński!” (A reference to the death in prison of American serial bomber Ted Kandinsky.) Placards at KO rallies are full of hate speech and vulgarities, enabling the conservatives to point out the opposition’s low class and poor taste. Since the ruling camp controls TVP,  Poland’s most-watched-network, it can provide video proof of Tusk’s past blunders, pitfalls and buddy-buddy scenes with Putin.

President Duda meets German and French statesmen in Paris
The leaders of the  Weimar Triangle, comprising Poland, Germany and France, met recently in Paris to declare their “unwavering support for Ukraine.” That marked a change for Germany’s formerly foot-dragging Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Even as they met, Ukrainian President Zelensky was begging Germany for tanks, but so far largely in vain. Polish President Andrzej Duda expressed the hope that
NATO’s next summit  would deliver “a clear signal” for Ukraine’s path to membership of the alliance “Today we are linked together with Germany and France in our common interest. Russia cannot win this war,” Duda emphasized.

Putin intends to blow up nuclear powerplant
Zelensky Russia intends to blow up the atomic powerplant in Zaporizhia in order to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky told NBC TV News recently. “The Kremlin has already ordered the automatic radiation-monitoring systems to be shut down and rescue equipment destroyed,” he said. After the powerplant is blown up and the environment radioactively contaminated, “the Russian aggressors hope the world will pressure Kyiv into a swift end to the conflict,” Zelensky alleged. The Kremlin has engaged in nuclear saber-rattlting since the start of its full-scale aggression on Ukraine but has so ar not made good on its threats. Nevertheless, Putin is widely suspected of destroying the dam on the River Dnipro, so many wouldn’t put blowing up Europe’s largest atomic powerplant past him.

EU to target countries helping Moscow evade sanctions
Massive, unprecedented anti-Russian economic sanctions, have made life difficult for Moscow but have so far not undermined the Kremlin’s ability to continue its full-scale aggression against Ukraine. The European Union leadership has decided to deal with that challenge by targeting countries that have helped Putin evade the sanctions by supplying needed goods which the EU has banned from trade with Russia. According to European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, the measure is basically a warning that we could halt the export of sanctioned EU goods to any third country if there is evidence that they are getting re-exported to Russia.

More younger Poles support ruling conservatives — Adenauer Foundation
The results of a study titled “2023 Political Portrait of Young Poles”  surprised many when it found that the largest percentage of Poles aged 18-29 (27%) support the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, with the liberal-left Civic Coalition in second place (24.7%). Such support may reflect such PiS’ monthly $122 (500 złoty) allowance for young Poles to age 18 and well as exemption from income tax to age 25. Also surprising was third place Konfederacja (19.2%), and eclectic hotch-potch of far-right nationalists, Russophiles and hard-nosed pro-capitalists who oppose welfare benefits for the needy.

Poland hosts international space-exploration event in Gdańsk
Fifteen signatory nations of the Artemis (space-exploration) Accords have attended a key meet-up in the Baltic port city of Gdańsk. Grzegorz Wrochna, chief of POLSA, Poland’s space agency, told reporters it was a big honor for Poland to hold such a  key event. The Artemis Accords were drafted to regulate international space exploration, Considering the multiple space missions planned over the next few years, the Gdańsk gathering sought ways to avoid conflicts of interest and ensure lunar security. Missions to the Moon and Mars were among those on the agenda.

Two marches: for life & family and “anything goes”
Poland’s annual National March For Life and Family was recently held in Warsaw and other cities in support of traditional family values. “Children are Our Future” was the theme of of this year’s event. “Getting married and raising kids is a big challenge, but it’s worth it,” remarked one proud dad attending with his family. A day earlier, Warsaw’s annual Equality Parade was held with its pink wigs, lewd gestures, anti-Catholic placards and loud music. “I want to be able to legally marry a man and for same-sex couples to legally adopt children,” said one male parader when asked why he was taking n part.

Russian dissidents hold anti-Putin congress in Warsaw
A Russian group of exiled dissidents has held a convention in Poland’s capital Warsaw, vowing to work for regime change in their homeland. Known as the Congress of People’s Deputies, it is one of four major Russian anti-Putin organizations and the only one openly calling for armed conflict with the Kremlin. The dissidents hope to draft a new, democratic Russian constitution that will further their cause. “We don’t claim we have the total answer, but at least we are doing something,” one of the event’s organizers told Polish Television.

Poland requests extradition of Polish woman’s suspected killer
Poland has appealed to the Greek authorities for the extradition of a man from Bangladesh, suspected or murdering a Polish woman on the Greek island of Kos. The victim,  Anastazja Rubińska, 27, was employed at one of island’s hotels. Greek police said the homicide had occurred in an abandoned building, but the victim’s badly decomposed remains were found in a bog nearly a week later following an intensive search.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he wanted the suspect, now in Greek custody, to “stand trial before a Polish court and receive the highest possible sentence,” which is life imprisonment. Poland’s last execution took place back in 1986.

Poland elected to United Nations’ Economic and Social Council
Poland has been elected to the United Nations’’ Economic and Social Council for a two-year term and will serve n hat capacity form 2024 to 2026. Poland’s ambassador to the UN, Krzysztof Szczerski, said after the vote: “We thank 177 countries, which voted for Poland at the UN General Assembly, for their support and trust! During our term, we will deliver on our motto: ‘Developing in solidarity’.”

Threats to a woman’s life or health justify abortion — health minister
Poland’s health minister Adam Niedzielski has appointed a 13-member team of experts, most of  them women, to draw up detailed guidelines regarding  the admissibility of abortion. The decision came after a five-month-pregnant woman died of sepsis. According to Niedzielski, she could have survived if offered the abortion option. At present, abortion is legally available if the pregnancy had resulted from rape or incest or endangers a woman’s life or health. The most controversy surrounds a defective fetus which had also been grounds for abortion. Several years ago a radical pro-life group succeeded in deleting that exception.

Can pollster Kantar be counted on for anti-government surveys?
Poland’s   Kantar opinion-research group appears to have joined the election campaign of the country’s largest opposition party, the Civic Coalition (KO). A recent Kantar survey, paid for by the fiercely anti-government, US-owned station TVN, showed  57% of respondents claiming that the “quality of democracy” had deteriorated   over the past 8 years the conservative Law and Order (PiS) party has been in office. In another poll, 48% alleged that the situation of women had worsened.  Following KO’s massive anti-government march of 4 June, Kantar reported that its support had eclipsed PiS by one point: 32-31 for the first time in recent memory. The remaining half-dozen pollsters all showed PiS still in the forefront.

Huge June march only minimally improved PO’s standing —
A survey by pollster Ibris showed that only 5.9% claimed that Tusk’s anti-government march would influence voter preference, while  92.3% voiced the opposite view. In a breakdown into parties, Poland’s ruling PiS remained the front-runner with 33.5% support,  half PiS’ more typical roughly 10-point lead. In second place was KO with 28.3% (halved PiS’ more typical some 10-point lead. The nationalist/pro-capitalist Konfederacja could count on 11.7%, the Third Road, a coalition of centrist Poland 2050 and the Polish People’s (formerly peasant) Party, enjoyed 10.6% backing and the Left — 9.7%.

Documentary on Ukrainian war refugees wins top award
In the Rearview” by Polish filmmaker Maciej Hamela, a documentary about Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, has won the Grand Jury Award at the 2023 Sheffield Docfest. It was the 30th documentary-film festival held in the North England city. The jury said the documentary, a Polish-French-Ukrainian co-production, “was crafted with intimacy and delicate respect” and added: “As a jury, we were stunned by the brilliant simplicity of this film which makes us fellow-passengers upon a universal odyssey of survival and exodus.”

Iga Świątek rebounds from slump to win third Paris grand slam
Following a passing slump, Poland’s Iga Świątek defeated Karolína Muchová of the Czech Republic 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in their women’s singles championship match to win her third French Open grand slam. She thus claimed her fourth Grand Slam title, three of them in Paris, and reaffirmed her status as the world No. 1 in women’s singles. It  was Iga’s 14th career singles  title.  Following the match, the emotional 22-year-old fell to her knees on the court and shed tears of relief and joy,

British “bus adventurer” to travel 1,148 miles to Poland
Andrew Cowell, 47, who works in railway operational planning and describes himself as a “bus adventurer”, said his latest trip would take him from his hometown of Derby, England 1,148 miles to Kraków, Poland. Taking advantage of the British government’s £2 ($2.50) fare cap, he will take six different buses from Derby to London and thence board an international coach to Kraków with a dinner stop in Paris along the way. The whole trip should take no more than two-and-a-half days and be cheaper than a low-cost flight.