Polish PM to John McCain: “You Have No Right to Lecture Us”

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

15th February, 2016


The Prime Minister of Poland, Beata Szydlo, and a number of Polish politicians responded to American senators, who appealed to the Prime Minister concerning reforms in Poland, reports Associated Press.

Senators John McCain, Richard Durbin and Benjamin Cardin expressed concern about the new Polish laws that affect the work of the constitutional court and the media in the country. They noted that the new legislation “can obstruct democracy, the rule of law and the independence of the courts”. In their letter, the senators called themselves “friends of Poland” and urged Warsaw to return to conventional Western democratic values.

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Witold Waszczykowski, said that such treatment indicates that the senators “don’t know anything about what happen in Poland.” The initiative of the senators, in his opinion, inspires people who wish to harm Poland. During his visit to Washington he plans to discuss the issue with U.S. officials. Polish politicians expressed solidarity with the position of the Foreign Minister and said that U.S senators were misinformed and “have no right to lecture Warsaw on its internal affairs.”

The Prime Minister of Poland has responded to the situation. Beata Szydlo replied to the senators by saying that the Polish government “corrected mistakes” of its predecessors and stressed that the Americans have no right to lecture Poland and to interfere in internal affairs.

This is not the first instance where Poland has sharply reacted to criticism from the West — it had got to the point that the head of the Polish Justice Ministry accused Germany and the European Union of using, with regards to Poland, “methods of world war II”. In his letter to German policy and European Commissioner Gunther Oettinger he said that 70 years ago, “The Poles had to deal with German supervision”.

Since October, when the right (conservative party “Law and justice” obtained the majority in the Seimas elections of 2015, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski) came to power, the government sought to deprive the constitutional Tribunal’s independence,  impose bureaucratic control over the media and legislation, and politicise the civil service. 

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