Obama Congratulates Tusk

September 2, 2014
EU President Donald Tusk

EU President Donald Tusk

On 30 August Herman Van Rompuy informed the public that Donald Tusk had been elected to the post of President of the European Council and Federica Mogherini the new High Representative for Foreign Affairs for the EU. The President of the United States Barack Obama was one of the first to congratulate Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. As we can read in the statement published by the Press Secretary of the White House: “the United States has no more important partner than Europe. We look forward to working closely with President Tusk and High Representative Mogherini, as well as Commission President Juncker and all of the new Commissioners.” Newly elected President Tusk said, “I come from a country that is deeply convinced about the sense of the European Union and a united Europe. There is no other clever alternative for the EU.” PM Tusk added: “I realise that the function of the head of the European Council is to continually build compromise.” Tusk also stressed that “this is an important moment”. Herman Van Rompuy said about his successor that “he is a real statesman for Europe”. The dominant tone of opinion after the European Union summit during which the most important officials of the EU were chosen was that Donald Tusk as the head of the European Council and Italian Federica Mogherini of the EU diplomacy will now have to work closely together.
polskieradio.pl

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Poland and Japan Stand United

July 13, 2014
Self-Defence Forces

Self-Defence Forces

The Japanese ambassador in Poland hosted a reception in his official residence on the occasion of the anniversary of the establishment of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces. Japan’s Self-Defence Forces are the unified military forces of Japan that were established on 1 July 1954. The reception helped Polish defence policymakers become acquainted with Japanese defence policy and the functioning of the Japanese defence forces. It was also an important opportunity at building greater mutual understanding between the two countries and strengthening the relations between both partners. This year more than 130 guests attended the celebration. Representatives of Poland’s Sejm and Senate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and military forces (ground, air, naval) were among those invited. In his speech, ambassador Makoto Yamanaka emphasised the progress made in the bilateral cooperation of Polish and Japanese forces. He also noted last year’s visit of Defence Minister Siemoniak to Japan and the treaty signed by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. The ambassador also explained Japanese defence policy to the participants and pointed out the significance of cooperation between Polish and Japanese forces.
pl.emb-japan.go.jp

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Palikot Calls for New Elections

June 24, 2014
Palikot Concerned

Palikot Concerned

“We are in a tight spot. On the one hand, the associates of PM Donald Tusk have been compromised and need to go, but on the other, no decent person could possibly wish for Law and Justice (PiS) to return to power,” said Janusz Palikot, leader of Your Movement (TR). “It is extremely difficult to tell the difference between PiS and PO (Civic Platform): they use the same methods and often the same people, and the same approach to the most important social issues,” he continued. According to Palikot, earlier elections are necessary in light of the wiretapping scandal. Palikot argues that it is impossible to continue in a situation where the government is losing sleep over every upcoming issue of Wprost, fearing new pieces of information and new scandals that might be released. When asked if his party will support the PiS initiative of a constructive vote of no confidence in the government, he replied that PiS is only trying to make it look like it wants this cabinet gone. “I will never form any government with Jarosław Kaczyński, neither a cabinet of experts nor any other. I would be disgusted with myself,” he declared.
tvn24.pl

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Vote of No Confidence

June 22, 2014
Much to Contemplate

Much to Contemplate

In the aftermath of ‘Vistulagate’, as the world’s media have christened it, Law and Justice (PiS) is calling for a constructive vote of no confidence in the government. This is not the first PiS attempt at replacing PM Donald Tusk with its own candidate. In all likelihood, the vote will fall through, just as the previous attempt did in March 2013. In order to succeed, the motion requires an absolute majority of 231 votes, whereas PiS has only 136 votes at its disposal, as opposed to the 235 votes of the government (the PO-PSL coalition). Jarosław Kaczyński, head of PiS, has invited potential allies to a meeting that will take place on Monday, but refused on principle to talk to Your Movement (TR), despite the fact that Janusz Palikot’s party could be willing to vote for the motion. What is more, PiS needs all the help it can get as even the entire opposition together would not secure enough votes to force the cabinet to resign. Due to this fact, PiS is looking to the junior government coalition partner, the Polish People’s Party (PSL), for support. However, PSL highlights the fact that the whole idea is unrealistic as the opposition will once again fail to stand united.
wp.pl

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Mysterious Briefcase

June 20, 2014
Mysterious

Mysterious

The officers of the Internal Security Agency (ABW) who recently visited the offices of Wprost magazine left behind four things: a) an absolute mess, b) a broken door, c) the very laptop that they came for, and d) one of their briefcases complete with official documents and stamps. Soon after the ABW left the premises, journalists informed the public about the mysterious black briefcase, encouraging the ABW to return and collect it. When there was no response, the briefcase spent the night with journalists, and resurfaced the following day during a press conference held by PM Donald Tusk. “Please, take it. We have absolutely no use for it back at the office,” said Wprost journalist Cezary Łazarewicz, addressing the Prime Minister. “We are truly at a loss as to what to do with the briefcase. Perhaps with your help we could return it to Interior Minister Sienkiewicz [incriminated in the recent hacking scandal]. There are some official stamps and secret documents inside. We really don’t need it,” he continued. Apparently, neither does the head of the government because as soon as the conference was over, he left without it. The rightful owner has yet to claim the object, but in the meantime the briefcase has become a ridiculed symbol of the botched raid on the magazine.
tvn24.pl

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ABW Looking for Secrets

June 19, 2014
Internal Security Agnecy

Internal Security Agnecy

On Wednesday morning, officers of the Internal Security Agency (ABW) entered the offices of Wprost weekly in order to collect all data storage devices containing recently leaked wiretap recordings. According to Michał Majewski, one of the journalists who revealed the contents of the recordings, editorial staff refused to hand over the original files because they could not be absolutely certain that their source would not be compromised. In accordance with Polish law, if the informer wishes to remain anonymous, journalists are obliged to protect his or her identity, which can also include keeping secret any materials in their possession that could lead to the person being identified. The recordings revealed Interior Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz and National Bank of Poland (NBP) head Marek Belka discussing the possibility of the NBP helping the government with its budget problems before the next elections in exchange for the government introducing changes to the law concerning the central bank as well as the dismissal of the then Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski. According to Wprost, the conversation took place in July 2013. In November 2013, Rostowski was replaced by Mateusz Szczurek as Minister of Finance; in May 2014, the cabinet received a draft amendment to the law on the NBP.
tvn24.pl

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Pseudo-referendum in Ukraine

May 22, 2014
Same Again?

Same Again?

The ‘referendum’ is just another chapter in the division of Ukraine. Donald Tusk said that Poland will not recognise the results of any ‘pseudo-referenda’. “The Polish government and administration have no doubts that we are dealing with a sophisticated form of aggression,” he added. “When we met last time, after the annexation of Crimea, steps had been taken by external powers to attempt a partition of the Ukrainian state. Everything indicated that this was not the end of the Ukrainian drama. Unfortunately, it is still playing out before our very eyes,” said the Polish Prime Minister. Donald Tusk explained that the referenda held in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions fail to comply with “any standards and they are just another step on the path to partitioning Ukraine”. According to Tusk, the referenda organised by separatists in eastern Ukraine have nothing in common with democracy. Moreover, they mock democracy, he added. “They are destroying our Ukrainian neighbour. I hope that, unlike Crimea, no one in the world has any doubt that we are dealing with interference by one country in the affairs of another,” noted Donald Tusk.
wiadomosci.gazeta.pl

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