Tusk to Return?

Comeback?

PM to become President?

According to Paweł Lisicki, editor-in-chief of right-wing magazine “Do Rzeczy” and a journalist of #dziejesienazywo, the manner in which President of the European Council Donald Tusk argued with Polish President Andrzej Duda during their Monday debate in Brussels, suggests that the former Prime Minister of Poland may have an ace up his sleeve and could take part in future presidential elections in Poland. Lisicki explained that Tusk did not hold back in criticising Duda regarding his allegiances to Law and Justice (PiS) and the violation of the Polish Constitution. “It seems clear to me that Tusk is thinking of challenging Duda in the 2020 elections,” writes Lisicki. On the other hand, however, Paweł Zalewski, a member of Civic Platform (PO) said that Tusk tried to steer Duda away from being an errand boy for PiS head Jarosław Kaczyński. “There is no other European country bar Poland, in which a head of state violates the Constitution,” writes Zalewski. When asked about Tusk’s ambitions of becoming future president of Poland, Zalewski writes that Tusk has at least one and a half year left in the European Council and this is his main focus at the moment. Moreover, according to Zalewski, PiS has already showed what their true intentions are by filling all key positions in Poland with Kaczyński cronies, who actually have little knowledge about or competence in their new roles. For instance, Wojciech Jasiński was appointed head of PKN Orlen, the Polish oil and gas powerhouse, however, Jasiński appears to not even know how to read a balance-sheet. “This problem concerns every nomination undertaken by PiS. It is a disgrace, a nightmare,” writes Zalewski.
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Duda in Brussels

Duda with His Mentor

Duda with Mentors

On January 18, Polish president Andrzej Duda will visit Brussels to meet with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, with whom he will discuss issues between Poland and the EU. During his stay, Duda will also speak with the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Philip Breedlove. According to the Polish Secretary of State Krzysztof Szczerski, the meeting will focus on such topics as the Brexit, migration and energy policies including the future of Nord Stream 2. He also assured everyone that President Duda’s visit to Brussels is not related to the current changes made by the Polish government as the meeting was planned much earlier. Moreover, Szczerski added that up until July 2016 every one of President Duda’s state visits will be dedicated to preparations for the NATO summit in Warsaw. It is expected that the summit will touch on such issues as: security and the military capacity of NATO members, terrorism, the migrant crisis, computer security and the modernisation of military forces. Apart from his participation in the summit, President Duda will also attend the Nuclear Security Summit to be held in Washington DC in March. In the second half of 2016, the President of Poland will also make two important business trips: either to one Asian and African country, or two Asian countries.
wp.pl

Donald Tusk Speaks English

Mówi po angielsku?

Mówi po angielsku?

The European Council has published the first interview with Donald Tusk, given in English. When Poland’s former Prime Minister was elected to the post of the President of the European Council, he spoke Polish during his first press conference. However, he assured everyone that from December he will give all interviews in English. What is more, he said that he needs three months to “polish his English.” At the end of November, a few days before taking the position, the press office of the European Council published Donald Tusk’s first interview given for EU Internet TV in English. Tusk tells his personal story, talks about his family, his roots in Gdańsk, “Solidarity” and the beginning of his life in politics. “Gdańsk is unique, not only for me but for Poland and Europe. There are many influences from different cultures here: Polish, German, Jewish, Scottish and Kashubian. I am Kashubian, which means I am a part of an ethnic minority,” said Tusk. As far as his family is concerned, Tusk talked about his father, who was a carpenter and his mother, who was “pure goodness”. Tusk’s father died when he was 14 years old and his mother had to work hard to support their family. “We lived in poverty but we were a happy and loving family,” emphasised Tusk. He also talked about his early political experiences and his childhood which were difficult because in 1970 he saw the tragic events that took place in Poland such as policemen shooting at workers, buildings on fire and tanks. “From the very beginning it was clear to me who is on the right side and who is on the wrong one. From that time I realised that people who are beaten are more often in the right than the people who beat them,” said Tusk. The greatest political story of Donald Tusk’s life began when he established Civic Platform (PO) in 2001. “It was like a protest against the corruption and routine of politics. For many people Civic Platform was like a breath of fresh air,” stressed the President of the European Council. According to Donald Tusk, Poland is now at the heart of Europe and “is one of the pillars of European Union, not a trouble maker from the peripheries.” However, the greatest ambition of Donald Tusk is to teach his two grandsons to play football because football and his family are his two greatest passions. “Family is my greatest happiness,” said Tusk, with a smile on his face.
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Obama Congratulates Tusk

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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Kaczyński’s Accusations

Pointing the Finger

Pointing the Finger

During one of his recent speeches, Jarosław Kaczyński of Law and Justice (PiS) criticised the Polish economy, healthcare and education systems. According to the PiS head, none of these areas are in a satisfactory condition. Rising unemployment has resulted in mass emigration to highly developed countries where career opportunities are significantly more varied and attainable. Kaczyński also mentioned that Polish healthcare cannot be trusted. Nowadays, it seems that it is more profitable to let seriously ill patients die than help them. He continued saying that the procedures of making appointments are so complicated and time-consuming that many patients have to wait months to visit a specialist. In addition, social assistance is not available to all those who need it. There are thousands of families that do not receive any support from the government and as a result, there is a large number of undernourished children in Poland. In his speech, opposition leader Kaczyński did not forget about the Polish education system and said that educational programmes in Poland need to be entirely reorganised. He said that the issue of textbooks should also be resolved – constantly changing textbooks do not improve the quality of education but only worsen the financial situation of many families. PM Donald Tusk replied to these comments. He claimed that many young people have managed to find well-paid jobs over the last months in Poland, while the level of emigration is now much lower than in 2008. When it comes to the problem of healthcare in Poland, he said that the government is currently working on a new bill that aims at improving all complicated procedures that prevent patients from obtaining the necessary care. Last but not least, he touched upon the issue of social assistance. He explained that the amount of income per family has been raised so as to enable more citizens to receive financial benefits. According to The Economist, Tusk is the one who is correct. As the magazine reports, Poland is treated by most European countries with great respect due to the progress it has made during the global economic crisis.
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Jesus Would Vote for Tusk

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.
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Mysterious Briefcase

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.
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