Sikorski Afraid of Neighbours

August 15, 2014
Radosław Sikorski

Radosław Sikorski

Foreign Affairs Minister Radosław Sikorski has recently boasted about his firearm license being renewed. According to police statistics, he is one of only 21,000 Poles who can legally carry firearms for self-defence. Polish law in this regard is one of the most restrictive in Europe. Not only do applicants need to prove they are in “constant, real, and extraordinary danger” but they also need to undergo psychological evaluations every five years. Minister Sikorski, implicated in the wiretapping scandal earlier this year, has found the evaluation rather amusing as the doctor wanted to know if Sikorski felt that someone was listening in on his conversations. Despite the fact that up to 70% of all applications for firearm license are denied, Sikorski is one of many gun owners amongst Polish politicians. MP Arkadiusz Czartoryski (PiS) and MP Tomasz Kaczmarek (PiS) have suggested that politicians receive preferential treatment. “Nobody will risk saying ‘no’ to parliamentarians who want to carry firearms. However, in many instances, former law enforcement officers are denied the permit even though, I daresay, they are in much graver danger than ‘cheerful Radek’ [Radosław Sikorski],” said Kaczmarek, commenting on the information that Minister Sikorski applied for his license on the grounds that he resides 3 km from a prison.
tvn24.pl

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Jesus Would Vote for Tusk

June 27, 2014
God with Godson

God with Godson

“I had a hard time deciding what to do, knowing that this decision could affect my future political career, or even end it. But when I asked myself what Jesus would do, I had no more doubts,” said MP John Godson, explaining the reasons behind his choice to support the current government. Godson was one of only a handful of opposition MPs to do so, during Wednesday’s vote of confidence for the government. As well as Godson, four independent MPs and one MP of Your Movement (TR) voted for the ruling coalition. Godson originally won his place in parliament as a Civic Platform (PO) candidate. He left the party in August, after voting against the party line. Currently, he is a member of Poland Together (PRJG), which declared its support for the PiS initiative of replacing the PO-PSL coalition with a cabinet of experts until earlier elections could be organised. Godson, however, had a last-moment change of heart and decided to help his former colleagues from PO instead. He explained that while the behaviour of the politicians implicated in the wiretapping scandal was reprehensible, it would be irresponsible to vote against the government now. It is what Jesus would have done.
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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Prisoners Vote for Prosecutor

June 15, 2014
Democracy At Work

Democracy At Work

In the elections to the European Parliament, Civic Platform (PO) managed 39.4% of all prisoners’ votes, whereas Law and Justice (PiS) did not fare too well. There was, however, one notable exception. In a detention facility in Chmielów, in the province of Podkarpacie, a PiS candidate garnered the majority of the votes. Stanisław Piotrowicz, a former prosecutor, was rather shocked by his popularity among inmates. “I would never have expected any kind of support from the inmates and more importantly, I would never ask for it”. It has since transpired that shortly before the elections, prisoners received packages containing packs of cigarettes and coffee along with election leaflets endorsing Piotrowicz. “It’s either some kind of setup and somebody put Piotrowicz’s name on the packages or it simply did not happen at all,” said Jarosław Kaczyński, head of PiS. The director of the detention facility informed the local prosecutor’s office about the fact that a crime could have been committed by one of the prison officers, who allowed the packages into the facility. The packages were supposedly sent by a businessman who wanted to help his favoured candidate, but he ended up doing more harm than good.
tvn24.pl

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Support for PiS Increases

June 12, 2014
Rise of Kaczyński

Rise of Kaczyński

Law and Justice (PiS) did not win the last elections to the European Parliament, but according to a recent survey, Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s party recorded the greatest increase in support and also came in first place in the survey, unlike ruling Civic Platform (PO), according to Rzeczpospolita. Your Movement (TR) would not manage to win any seats in parliament. According to the survey, 30% of respondents supports PiS, giving the party an increase of 1%. PO, on the other hand, has lost 3% and is supported by 26% of respondents. Assuming that the elections were held now, PiS and PO would be first and second in parliament with the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) in third with 11% (a loss of 1%). The New Right (NP) of Janusz Korwin-Mikke would have 6% and the junior government coalition partner, the Polish People’s Party (PSL), would have 5%. Interestingly, people’s willingness to participate in the next elections has increased. Currently, 51% of Poles declares that they would like to take part in the next elections, while previous research indicated only 45%.
wp.pl

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Fire Fighter’s Day

May 10, 2014
Polish Strażak

Polish Strażak

“Polish fire fighters are the best in Europe and their great work is due to, amongst others, the trust that fire fighters have in the state,” said Prime Minister Donald Tusk during Fire Fighter’s Day last Sunday. “We envy this trust and the appreciation and pride people have in you,” he stressed. During a special ceremony in Warsaw, the PM emphasised that the Polish fire service is modernising and extremely effective. He also added that thanks to the professionalism of the fire service there are fewer human tragedies every year. Donald Tusk believes that the improvement of fire fighters’ work is also due to the efficient use of EU funds.
wiadomosci.wp.pl

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Mining the Key

May 9, 2014
Strong Community

PM Copying President

“Mining must become the basis of our energy security,” declared Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Katowice while opening the sixth European Economic Congress. Tusk admitted that in order to achieve this goal the country must support him. A large part of the PM’s speech was devoted to the crisis, which, he emphasised, had revealed many weaknesses in the modern economy. He also explained how the quest for a quick and easy profit may lead to a lack of responsibility for the community. “Here in Silesia you can clearly see that the term ‘community’ is not an archaic word,” Tusk added. The PM also stated that the challenges facing the energy sector have become even more relevant because of events in Ukraine. He stressed that the conflict has demonstated the importance of energy security for Poland. The PM explained that the government is working on become energy independent. Tusk also believes that focusing on the coal industry lies in everybody’s best interests. During the conference, issues such as energy security and industrial competitiveness were discussed. Negotiations also took place between the EU and USA concerning a revolutionary free trade agreement.
gazetaprawna.pl

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