Are Kaczyńskis psychopaths? Psychologist analyses Polish leaders’ personalities

16 12 2007

Source: Przekrój weekly
link to the original article
translation from Polish for this blog: MoPoPressReview

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Interview with Elżbieta Sołtys, 52, social psychologist. She graduated from Jagiellonian University’s Psychology Department in 1980 and completed her second level of professional specialisation in developmental psychology. She is a supervisor at the Polish Psychological Society and at the Non-Governmental Organisations Trainers’ Association. She was a member of the consultations body at the Ministry of Education. She is the author of 2001 executive regulations on psychological-developmental counselling. She works as a trainer for the Foundation for Children and Youth and businesses. Ten years ago she founded the Elżbieta Sołtys Psychological Workshop, a company running trainings for businesspeople, teachers and personal advisers.

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Paweł Moskalewicz: Jarosław Kaczyński (former Polish PM, current leader of the Law and Justice Party) feels offended with his party deputies, he wants to thorow them out of the party…

Elżbieta Sołtys: Like a child!

A child?

– Sure! Uncontrolled outbreaks of anger on anyone who doesn’t agree with us is a feature of very young children playing in a sandpit.

You think he didn’t grow up?

– Not a slightest bit. Jarosław Kaczyński, like his brother Lech, is not capable of managing his anger and negative emotions. When something bad happens, something not in compliance with their expectations, they explode like a volcano.

You think they’re immature?

– That’s right, in some respects. We can judge someone’s maturity considering intellectual and emotional development. Intellectually Kaczynskis are OK, they’ve completed their degrees, even an LLD in Lech’s case. Jarosław is a master of political games and strategies. But emotionally they’re kindergarten.

Where do you think this comes from?

– In my opinion from some traumatic experiences in childhood. Maybe it’s parent’s fault. Have they been punishing them? Demanding too much from them? I don’t know, but the twins seem a classic example of strict, even toxic raising.

The world didn’t love them, so they don’t love it back?

– Look a the way they act. They feel offended all the time, they are vindictive… Why? It’s pretty characteristic for twins. They have their own small, closed world – twin brother is the most important significant other. And they stimulate each other, convincing that they are alone in front of a hostile world, and everyone around are wrong. This is a classic closed circle.

And it has its source in childhood?
– Most likely – yes. And judging by the symptoms – and also looking at their mother – I’m convinced that they have experienced very strict parenting. You have to be behave properly, showing emotions like anger, discontent is prohibited… It has to explode eventually.

How?

– As growing, cumulating anger. Please notice, that they were always the losers. It didn’t work out for them with Lech Wałęsa, then long years of political non-existence, and then finally something starts to work out. Lech, always pushed to the front by Jarosław, became the president of the Supreme Chamber of Control, Minister of Justice, the mayor of Warsaw. Finally a total success, full power over the country – and after just a half term in office: disaster. Suddenly you have give everything back.

Is this the reaso behind the president’s silence after the election?

– This has been terrible for him. The twin brother, the guru and guide for many year, has lost. Of course not because he had done anything wrong. The omnipresent evil ‘grey grid’, that lead to undeserved failure of Law and Justice party.

So the president went silent, not only, breaking the custom and not congratulating the election winner, but also distancing himself from co-workers?

– For him these days must have been terrible. He needed to hide somewhere for sometime, and relax. Now he’s shaken it off a bit, but I don’t think he’ll recover. We are still facing, in my opinion, rows over new acts, ambassadors – although the president has already had his end as a political player. In my opinion it is likely he won’t last until the end of his term.

Will he resign? Will he be impeached by the parliament?

– I don’t know, I’m not a constitutionalist, but a psychologist. I see a man who is completely scattered, unable to perform the function of the most important office in this country. I’m also very attached to to my theory, that the whole life of the Kaczynski brothers is determined by their children role in the movie The Two Who Stole The Moon. There we have a happy-end: Zapiecek, alegorical Poland, turns normal, everyone’s doing better, there is no place for revolutionaries. Going along the analogy – there has to be a happy ending. Jacek and Placek (as the twins are called in the movie) return to mum, and only then they become better, more mature people. I hope that Kaczynskis here will disappear too, and then finally grow up.

Are you being serious with them re-living the fairy tale?

– I am serious. We could multiply the analogies… but let’s take the closest one. The citizens of the “City of Gold” from the movie were inquiring the twins about the taste and price of bread. Did you see how Jarosław Kaczynski lost his temper, during the election debate, when Donald Tusk asked him whether he knew what was the price of bread in Poland? This could not have been accidental…

Let’s go back to what is going on today. Do you think that a mature c-operation between the president Lech Kaczynski and prime minister Donald Tusk is possible?

– I hope so. Because Donald Tusk, whom I have been observing for some time, has learned a lot and today he’s a mature politician, pragmatic, someone who seeks agreement. However I’m worried about the president. Some of his compulsive behaviours indicate a situation, when the intellectual brain separates too much from the emotional brain. In this case, there are even some signals that may indicate a mental disease. Please note for instance the presidents signature. I don’t want to be know-all here, a graphologist would need to analyse this, but for me it’s a signature of someone with personality disorder.

Believing in omnipresent conspiracy doesn’t make networking easier, does it?

– That’s right. Both brothers, Jarosław even a bit more, have this vision of world as a place controlled by evil people and dark powers. Everyone around is involved with conspiracies, you can trust nobody. This kind of look at the reality is very characteristic for people not having the ability to feel empathy, who lack basic communication skills. And could everything be all right with a guy, who lives with his mum until now, and went on a first date when he was 21?

But Kaczynskis have co-workers, friends, people they trust…

– And just look how they choose these people! They are all losers, and people with completely immature personalities.

Mr Ziobro? (former Minister of Justice)

– Beatiful example. Absolutely immature, hibernated child. Suspicious, unhealthily ambitious, hungry for power at all costs. In my opinion, it’s a result of some kind of traum, probably experienced when he was two-three. Such things stay… Kaczynski surround themselves only with this kind of people. Mr Szczygło, Miss Kruk and Miss Szczypińska – emotionally unstable loners.

W rumour going around the media says that Miss Szczypińska MP and Jarosław Kaczyński have more in common than an everyday fight for law and justice.

– I heard. When you recall her public appearances, it is possible to see her enchantment with Jarosław, but this has nothing to do with normal relationships people engage in. Generally I distinguish several stages of falling in love typical for different age groups and level of emotional development: the puppy love, the teenage love (when we pick someone to admire and stare at them, put pictures and posters of them on ur walls etc.), the romantic love (when we experience first elations in the arms of the beloved) and the mature love. The platonic admiration of Miss Szczypińska seems like the teenage love, although as I understand, she was 12 quite some time ago.

But you won’t say that Ludwik Dorn (former Speaker of the Sejm), who’s been Kaczynski’s faithful comrade for many years, avoids women?

– He loves Saba (his famous dog) the most…

There were some women in his life, weren’t they?

– But each of these relationships ended badly! All the relations were impermanen. Permanent and strong is his relation with his dog. Medicine, long ago, described cases where people with slightly psychopathic personalities were engaging in much stronger emotional relationships with animal than with people.

What about his long-lasting friendship with the Kaczynskis?

– There never was any friendship! The Kaczynskis are not capable. What brought them together was the same aim. When a pack of wolves attacks a herd of cattle or travellers in the woods, will you say that they are friends? Here we have exactly he situation with a pack of wolves. When other wolves question the power of the leader of the pack, he has to kill his competitors.

So what happens next to the pack? Jarosław Kaczyński will most likely defend his position in the party and…

– … and this will give him nothing, because Law and Justice party will continue to lose importance. People will be leaving the party in contempt with Jarosław’s authoritarian attitudes. The mutiny of the three (now former) deputy presidents of the party are just the beginning. Another thing is that Law and Justice went through the illness of every party in power. Many members signed in, who always join the winning team. Now they’ll start leaving and Kaczynski will do the rest, obsessively sniffing for conspiracies within his own ranks, and cleansing the party from everyone who’s not perfectly obedient. This party is on a downward slope.

This party was to be the force to assure Lech Kaczynski’s second term in presidents office.

– There won’t be any second term.

How can you be so sure? You’re saying that the Kaczynskis are childish, but it is Donald Tusk who was seen as a ‘little boy’ for many years. Poles, however, want to have a serious president.

– And who lead Citizens Platform to victory at the ballot boxes? We trust Tusk like no other, people appreciate the work he had done to improve himself. He’s friendly, open and in the same time serious and responsible. He’s got great relationships with people, he has the ability to listen, he’s good at guessing people’s emotions. He’s a mature politician nowadays.

What helped him grow up?

– Probably the double failure in elections two years go. But also – which is very important! – his children growing up. When your children are becoming mature adults, it helps the men who have always been peter pans grow up. It teaches responsibility, good communication, learning from one another.

Lech Kaczyński also has a daughter.

– They must have had really bad relations when she was a young child. Because, really, her life choices can’t be seen a sequence of accidental cases. In such a traditional family, divorce ending a short marriage is already a break of the order. A divorce that was so unpleasant, that involved such tension, breaks it even further. And her next partner turns out to be coming from SLD, a post-communist social-democratic party. When there are millions of single guys in this country she chooses someone related to the party most hated by her father – it’s apparent the daughter has given her father a clear answer.

You suggest that Marta Kaczyńska got involved with a leftist activist maliciously? To infuriate her father?

– That might be unconscious. However if they were in good, warm relations, believe me, a chance for her making such choice would have been much slimmer.

Doesn’t Donald Tusk have conflicts with people? The drop-outs from the Citizens Platform are those who disagree with him. Like Jan Rokita.

– Oh, Rokita – he’s a great example of a child who takes offence with everything. And Tusk – at least from my observations – tries to settle things down with everyone, also with Mr Kaczyński. It’s not a problem for him to say “I’m sorry”. These are new customs in Polish politics.

So far the Poles picture the parliament as a massive sandpit, in which little boys take each other’s sand moulds.

– This will change. Please look, that Citizens Platform created a government with the peasant Polish People’s Party (PSL), which is known for its calm ways, it adjusts itself, doesn’t engage in conflict. We will stop taking offence and sulking abroad, and we will be treated as a normal country again.

You’re talking about a government with PSL. This party is mainly its leader Waldemar Pawlak – in the nineties so immature he was even funny. The media ridiculed him all the time.

– Pawlak has grown up incredibly. Today there is none of that uncertain, coarse politician he was left in him. He spent some time in the political purgatory, worked hard on himslef, learned a lot. Now he’s a mature politician – and his passion to computers is also an important competence in politics – allows him to look, in an organised manner, at the whole structure of the state.

Back the Pawlak seemed very blend compared to the glowing, talkative SLD leader. Where is Aleksander Kwaśniewski (former president) today?

– Oh dear, he’s a sad case. An obvious example of a man, who cannot handle his alcohol addiction, who got caught in the system of denial and illusion. Illusion, because he’s lost the ability to judge the situation properly, he lives in conviction that he’s a great, wonderful person. Denial, because he won’t admit that it’s bad, that he’s got a problem. To the contrary, he repeats his lies making a fool of himself.

Kwaśniewski – another example of a man who didn’t grow up?

– Of course, he is a Peter Pan. He didn’t complete his degree – and leaving a part of your life not settled completely, can determine future behaviours and choices very strongly. He’s playing like a student, he’s happy to go for a party; when they serve alcohol, he’s have a round. He doesn’t feel responsibility.

How come? His political adversaries don’t deny his merits, he did many good things when he was a president.

– Now we’re mixing two different things. Intellectually Kwaśniewski is doing perfectly fine, he’s brainy, he’s splendid in rhetoric, a real statesman. However emotionally – failure, just a little boy.

Don’t the voters prefer a little boy? Somenone like us, imperfect, sometimes weak?

– Somehow Kwaśniewski didn’t help the left win votes in electoral campaign… We like the people whom we can respect, serious people. Our electoral preferences are dependant on our level of education. The higher is our education, the more we support liberal politicians. Uneducated people seek a chief, someone who holds things firmly.

However the populist Andrzej Lepper wasn’t this time voted for the parliament. His party was lost, now it’s falling apart.

– Exactly. We as a society are more eduaced, and populists’ chances are getting slimmer. Lepper is a more complicated case. He was created by Piotr Tymochowicz, image, and political marketing specialist. It’s true, Lepper learned well, he learned all sorts of tricks, he found a political recipe – but his end came when he got exposed. He’s over and he won’t be back.

Same with Giertych? (former Minister of Education, member of controversial League of Polish Families)

– Oh, it’s completely different with him. Now he’s out, but he’s an intelligent guy. He’ll wait, he’ll think, he’ll grow up and he’ll come back. He’s come back more mature, more sensible, and less opinionated. I would say he might show a lot. Just like Pawlak, who returned after years of non-existance, to do something.

So the recipe for a politician is to get wiser and grow up. But are we grown up as a society?

– We’ve been hibernated for over 50 years: the authorities were treating us like babies. We started to grow up in 1989, so a simple calculation shows that we as a society are 18 years old, and we are just entering the adult life. but it’s not exactly like that. On one hand many people have problems with taking responsibility for themselves. They expect the state to give them something. On the other hand the young people are growing up in an express speed. Also thanks to travelling and working abroad. Intensive exchange of thoughts and a melting pot of cultures – this all hastens our growing up process. The so called dog effect adds on top of that.

Dog effect?

Yes, because like a dog we’re following the footsteps left by others, and we won’t commit many mistakes the French or German did. It will take us shorter to gather the knowledge for which they worked years. We’ll just take the crème de la crème.

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If you enjoyed this post why not visit Polandian, a collaborative blog on Poland.

 





Poland’s new government to back out from Iraq sooner than expected paper reveals today

15 12 2007

Author: Izabela Leszczyńska
Source: Dziennik daily
Translation from Polish for this blog: MoPoPressReview

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The government wants, as Poland’s prime minister Donald Tusk pledged in his Parliament speech, to have Polish soldiers withdrawn from Iraq by October 2008. However there are signs that the pledge might be implemented sooner.

Poland was to send two more military contingents to Iraq, however as we found out yesterday, this figure will be reduced to just one. Even though the government has presented the president with a motion to extend the Iraq mission to November 31st 2008.

‘September and November as only for contingency arrangements should the withdrawal prolong’ – explains Vice-Admiral Tomasz Mathea, deputy Chief of Staff.

Major Dariusz Kacperczyk, from the Operations Headquaters, adds that between March and April Iraqi 8th division will overtake the responsibility for the zone controlled by the Polish military.

Preparations for the come back are already in full swing. Our base in Divaniya is in the process of stock-taking of the equipement gathered in Iraq through the last five years. The ninth contingent is checking everything: the number of cars, helicopters, containers. The Support Inspectorate, which has alredy prepared the plan of withdrawal, determined 100 tons of equipment will need to be transported. Two ships will be needed for this purpose.How does the government justify its decision? ‘The British are reducing their mission to 2.5 thousand soldiers, AMericans plan to reduce theirs from 160 thousand to 132 thousand, Australia also plans reductions. Why would we still have our soldiers in Iraq, since 74% of Poles want them out?’ – asks Bogdan Klich, Defence Minister.

The Iraqi are alarmed. Iraq’s Ambassador in Warsaw Walid H. Shiltagh announced that the government in Baghdad is going to request for the mission to be extended. ‘The Iraqi government considers this a last request for extending the mission of the multinational force’ -says the ambassador. The diplomat already talked about this with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and he is soon going to meet with the Ministry of Defence.

President Lech Kaczyński is also against the withdrawal. ‘If president does not support this motion, he risks that the mission will terminate abruptly with the end of 2007, as the current mandate is in force until then’ – replies Bogdan Klich.

The President’s Office hasn’t yet issued a statement. ‘It’s too early’ – We heard at the president’s press bureau.

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If you enjoyed this post why not visit Polandian, a collaborative blog on Poland.

 





The Polish problem in Europe

20 06 2007

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza, June 18th 2007 – debate section –
Author: Jacek Pawlicki
Translation from Polish for this blog: MoPoPressReview

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Defending the square root system the Kaczynskis stand in defence of the European balance. Which the Constitutional Treaty threatens to disturb, shifting the point of gravity to Germany.

The recent EU Parliament speaker Hans Gert Pöttering’s mission on euroconstitution has failed. Also the French president Nicolas Sarkozy did not make it to convince Poland to accept the double majority. Meeting with Spain’s prime-minister José Luis Zapatero and dinner with Angela Merkel were fruitless as well. It is too late for convincing now. EU summit commences on Thursday. Jarosław Kaczyński did not declare this war for the square root to surrender in the eve of the battle.

Kaczynskis’ jump onto Europe

Regardless of how this square root row end, Poland has at least profited on it in the sense, that is has positioned herself – for better and for worse – in the most important European debate’s proper. We are not EU decorations, unlike many other countries. We do not sit quietly, although for the interest of the whole EU maybe it would have been better for us not to start a row in this case.

Unfortunately, we jumped into this most important EU debate not being entirely prepared. With a government that doesn’t have much credibility in Europe, suspected of euroscepticism, and supported by the former opponents of Poland’s EU entry. We jumped into it not having major allies, and in a bad time – when almost everyone agrees EU can not allow itself one more crisis.

That is why the whole thing with the square root reminds of the mythical uhlan charge on German tanks in 1939. With the difference, that this time the tanks stand calmly in their bases, and it are the uhlans attacking. There’s a lot of heroism in this, but also a lot of Don Kichote.

We do not know the price we will have to pay for this charge. In Berlin and Brussels one can hear voices speaking louder and louder about Poland’s fault of the crisis, isolating Poland, Europe of two velocities. European media portrait us as rowdies. Not many people want to understand the “Polish problem”.

Do not change anything please!

And the “Polish problem” has its root in the fact that we have entered European Union 50 years too late. All the furniture in European house were already placed, everyone having its room and role.

When in 2003 the institutional system of the EU was being decided upon, Poland was not yet EU’s member. Our representatives were included in the Convention that drafted the constitution, but they couldn’t do much. After months of academic discussions, then and again indeed fascinating, Convention’s chairman Valéry Giscard d’Estaing completed the draft for the future Constitution for Europe.

The draft however did not reflect the conclusions of these discussions. It refelcted the French-German agreement on the division of their influences in the EU. Some call it a plot, coined by the two most powerful countries. Although at that time the plot was advantageous – it improved EU’s institutional spine, strained with the great enlargement. The voting system proposed by Giscard d’Estaing, straightening the position of the largest countries: Germany, France, Italy and United Kingdom, survived all sorts of political storms and was included in the Treaty signed in autumn 2004 by the 25 countries, including Poland.

If it was not the French and Dutch “NO” in 2005 referenda, euroconstitution would come into effect in 2009. It’s a paradox, that the French have stopped the French concept of Europe. And yet in 2007 everyone says that it is too late for refurbishing Europe, and the system, rejected not by the Poles or Czechs but by Giscard d’Estaing nationals, has to remain unchanged.

Even those, who have the courage to publicly praise the square root system, regarded in Europe as an antic, warn that the intervention is late. – ‘I think this is a very intelligent system, and very interesting, but it was submitted far too late’ said French MEP Jean-Louis Bourlanges interviewed recently by Gazeta Wyborcza. – ‘You have to distinguish the sheer intellectual attractiveness of this idea from the political attractiveness. It is too late, because 25 of 27 [current EU members] have already agreed for a different system, that isn’t bad either’.

Natolinski / Kaczynski ?

Today, when Poland is perceived as Europe’s black sheep, lets don’t put the whole blame on the Kaczynskis. Poland had had problem with euroconstitution from the start. Lets don’t forget it were the left-wing prime-ministers Leszek Miller and Marek Belka and the Foreign Office Minister Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz who effortlessly tried to put a halt to the Giscardian order in Europe. It were the Democratic Left Alliance government’s representatives travelling around Europe to “give a chance to Nice Treaty”, and then promote the so called Jagiellonian system, which was the base for square root concept of “equal influence”.

I was never a supporter of the Law and Justice (PiS) party’s foreign policy. I have criticised it many times, and I have written many times that it doesn’t even exist. But when we speak about the pursuits to strengthen the position of Poland in the EU, we are outside the PiS policy. As the architects of equal influence system are not people from this party. It is Jacek Saryusz-Wolski of Citizens’ Platform (PO) and two negotiators associated with it: Ewa Ośniecka-Tamecka and Marek Cichocki, whom I would call “the Natolin wing”, due to their ties to the European Centre in Natolin.

Saryusz-Wolski has many times expressed his dream that Poland plays in the EU champions’ league. He called for Poland to firmly fight for her interests. When the Kaczynskis came into power, ready to wrestle with the EU, Saryusz-Wolski felt this is his moment.

Prime-minister Kaczynski adopted the “Natolin wing” logic as his own, while the wing felt the support of prime-ministers strong position in the country and his determination. Saryusz-Wolski, Ośniecka-Tamecka and Cichocki knew, that if Kaczynski gets excited to the concept of strengthening Poland’s position, he will not give up. Prime-minister is not afraid of bad press in Europe, he will not surrender to pressure, and will not pull out just to avoid accusations of being the impediment of EU development.

Lesson learned?

The EU is not a perfect creation, it’s members are not perfect either. It is true that the language of fight and accusations that the Polish leaders use, scares the supporters of old school integration. The Polish concept of using veto, also goes far beyond European standards – until now veto was treated as nuclear bomb, which you can threaten other with, but which you don’t actually use.

You can disagree with Kaczynskis logic, but it is worth to understand it. It’s based on a conviction that the EU is not an altruistic club. And that every country has to elbow its way to keep the balance in the European Community’s life.

Natolin wing believes that euroconstitution disturbs this balance, ans shifts the point of gravity to Germany. As one of the influential PiS politicians puts it, it is for the best interest of the EU that all the countries again have the feeling that they have equal influence on what is going on.

As a paradox, the Kaczynskis – the supporters of Europe of nations – due to the fear of Germany have stood in favour of the the concept aiming to prevent forming a strong directorate of member states (to which they were even invited by Sarkozy).

It is hard not to learn the lesson from the square root war. This campaign will probably convince Polish authorities to be more active in the EU, and this will, sooner or later, result in better understanding of what is the nature of the Community. And in addition, if the current authorities feel that they have influence on what is going on in Europe, holding a great co-responsibility at the same time, the Polish problem in Europe will end, like the European problem with Poland.

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If you enjoyed this post why not visit Polandian, a collaborative blog on Poland.

 





Antiglobalists blocked by the police ahead of Bush’s arrival in Hel

8 06 2007

Source: gazeta.pl portal
Authors: Sławomir Sowula, met, Polish Press Agency
Translation: MoPoPressReview

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The blockade awaited demonstrators since early morning today. It has been situated, by the police, at the place of previous checkpoint, that used to guard access to what in the old days used to be restricted area between Hel and Jurata on the narrow Hel peninsula.

Antiglobalists were first blocking the road to Hel – and they had been removed by the police. Currently there are circa 200 security officers in the area making sure that the road through the peninsula is passable. Demonstrators had been separated into two groups and now occupy the pavements on sides of the road. Demonstrators have hooted a column of American cars passing earlier today, that was heading to the president’s residence. Currently the situation is calm and peaceful, and there are no incidents.

Demonstrations in Hel‘We have sent a notice to the Jastarnia and Hel local councils, where the president’s residence is located. Our demonstration is therefore legal and peaceful’ – says Filip Ilkowski of Inicjatywy Stop Wojnie (No Wars Initiative). – ‘We want to voice or protest against situating anti-missile base in our country, and Poland’s participation in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.’

Mayor of Jastarnia Tyberiusz Narkowicz, who appeared at the antiglobalists’ demonstration on Friday, confirms its legality.

Narkowicz said, that antiglobalists were also granted permission to march in the direction of president’s residence. He added however, that he didn’t know whether at that moment there were any occurences, that could prevent manifestation from moving in the planned direction. (…)

However the blockade is situated not in Jastarnia commune, but in the area of Hel commune, the same where presidents’ meeting is planned to take place. Only two kilometeres away are the gates, guarded by the army. Blockade consists of several hundred policemen, an armoured car, water-pumping car, dogs and an armoured police squad.

Each car approaching the checkpoint is stopped and thoroughly checked. A queue of cars has already formed at 9 in the morning.

In the nearby resort of Jurata, there weren’t many signs of Bush-Kaczynski summit at midday. For some tourists it is an additional attraction to hot weather, for local residents a nuisance.

‘They’re making more fuss then there was during the martial law – complained the locals. – ‘It scares tourists off. Many have cancelled their reservations, when they found out what could be happening here’.

Train services suspended

Train service Reda-Hel was unexpectedly suspended today at 10 am by BOR (Government Security Office). President Bush will be visiting Hel in the afternoon.

‘We received such an order from BOR, it wasn’t our decition’ – said Danuta Kaminska, PKP Polish Railroads spokeswoman. – ‘I don’t know why the train service has been suspended 6 hours ahead of US president’s arrival’.

Two days ago The Pomeranian Police and Pomeranian Voivod’s services assured journalists, that during Mr Bush’s visit, train services will operate like everyday, with the difference that it would be patrolled by the security. Sudden decision to withheld the service is probably due to concerns regarding antiglobalist demonstration. They were supposed to arrive in Jurata by train, and than march from the train station up to president’s residence in Hel. As we were informed, train services wil be suspended until 8 pm.

Commuters are advised to use the substitute bus services, matching the train timetable, which will operate on the Reda-Hel route. Buses will depart from Reda Train Station.

Sławomir Sorula interviews one of the protesters

Sławomir Sowula: Why did you come to Jurata?

Filip Ilkowski: We came to protest againt George Bush’s visit in Poland, against the policy he represents. Moreover against the construction of American installations perversely called “shield”, and also against Polish government’s participation in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both disgraceful, cruel and bloody. Bush himself is a politician, who is the head of the biggest military organisation in the world, and has more blood on his hands than any other politician. So when he comes too a country, there always are protests against him. Poland is no different.

How do you want to protest?

In the place, where Bush will meet his Polish fan Kaczynski, we want to protest loudly and visibly. Our demonstration is legal, it will march from Jurata Train Station to Polish President’s residence.

Do you think you will have some guest-demonstrators from the G8 summit?

We don;t check people’s passports, but this is an international protest and maybe someone will show up.

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See also:
‘Bush in Poland’ by the Beatroot
President Bush to visit Hel


If you enjoyed this post why not visit Polandian, a collaborative blog on Poland.





President Bush to visit Hel

5 06 2007

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza Trójmiasto
Authors: Krzysztof Katka, Michał Tusk
Translation: MoPoPressReview

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Protests and extra security measures will accompany president of The United States of America in his visit in Hel. George W. Bush will talk with president Lech Kaczyński abouts the plans to situate elements of missile defence system in Poland.

American president will arrive in Gdansk from the German town of Rostock. After the press conference on Lech Walesa Airport, he will go to Hel, located on the tip of the Hel peninsula, some 33 kilometres from the Polish mainland. Mr and Mrs Bush will spend three hours at the Polish coast, while two thousand police officers and hundreds of other officers will guard their safety. These will include Government Security Services, Border Guard, National Guard, the Navy and at least several hundred American agents. For the last week American embassy employees and their guests have taken the Hotel Nadmorski in Gdynia for their exclusive use, and it has been turned into the operational centre for the visit organisers. The area around the Hotel has been closed.

President Bush will fly to the town of Hel by the Marine One, which is the helicopter version of the Air Force One airplane. Two of these helicopters are already on standby at the Gdansk Airport. For the last few days the traffic above the city has been increased. The servicing equipment for president’s plane has already been shipped. (…)

It is president Bush’s third visit to Poland. His father has visited Poland during his presidency in 1989 to meet Lech Walesa. “Dziennik” daily, citing unofficial information, wrote that although the guests requested to include a meeting with Lech Walesa, the Polish president’s office did not agree for it. Nor Polish government nor American administration would confirm that such request had been made.

Mr Walesa himself told us on Tuesday, that he heard about such requests. – ‘There have been signals, and then I found out that the Polish president’s office did not approve. However I will be home on Friday, should American president desire to meet me, I am ready’ – said Walesa.

This isn’t the only diplomatic trouble. The mayor of Hel Miroslaw Wadolowski will write a letter to the White House, which in its press release misinformed the public, that President Bush will visit neighbouring Jurata, instead of his commune.

‘They should know where they send their president’ – says Wadolowski outraged. ‘I suspect that they have been misinformed themselves by our president’s office, which constantly claims that the president’s residence is in Jurata, although I have sent them several letters on that matter’.

Antiglobalists announced they will protest during the president’s visit near the residence. They plan to bring signs saying “Welcome to hell” in English. – ‘Over a hundred, maybe even 500 antiwar activists will manifest outside the residence’ – declared Filip Ilkowski from Inicjatywa Stop Wojnie (No Wars Initiative). – ‘We want to demonstrate peacefully against the situating of antimissile defence system, however if there will be any difficulties, then all sorts of things can happen’.

‘We are ready for antiglobalists’ manifestations, and we hope it will be peaceful – said Jan Kosciuk, spokesman for the Pomeranian Police. – ‘Should public order be disturbed, our reaction will be firm’.

The police in Tricity metropolis are advising drivers not to use their cars on Friday after midday. Privileged vehicles columns driving through the city, will cause many road closures. Drivers in Hel and Rebiechow will be most affected.

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President awards human and civil rights activists from the 1970s

24 03 2007

Source: Rzeczpospolita online, March 24th 2007
Author: Rafał Guz

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Over 30 creators and activists of the Ruch Obrony Praw Człowieka i Obywatela (Movement for Defence of the Human and Civic Rights) were awarded in Friday by the President Lech Kaczyński, as a part of the celebrations of 30th anniversary of its establishment.

‘ROPCiO and other underground organisations were the sign of our nation’s resistance to the communist oppression’ – said the president during the ceremony. He added that Poland has to respect Her heroes.

ROPCiO was created by those opposition people, who thought their views do not match the operating since 1976 Workers’ Protection Committee (KOR). Some were in conflict with groups dominating KOR, called secular left, and concentrating around Adama Michnika and Jacka Kuronia. Bogdan Borusewicz, Speaker of the Senate, and local opposition leader in Gdańsk during the People’s Republic, thinks that the Movement enriched the spectrum of democratic opposition in those days. ‘ROPCiO grouped people of more right-wing views than KOR. It was another step in gathering freedom’ – he said.

ROPCiO was established on 25th March 1977. Its manifesto was signed by gen. Mieczysław Boruta-Spiechowicz, Andrzej Czuma, Leszek Moczulski, ks. Ludwik Wiśniewski and Wojciech Ziembiński. Activists of the Movement emphasize its connection to the Second Republic and Home Army tradition, and the Church. Among them were former political prisoners of the ’60s underground organisation “RUCH” (which was discovered by the secret services), veterans of both the Home Army and postwar anticommunist underground.

Respect and defence of human rights was one of the main ROPCiO aimes. The movement also organised help for the oppressed as well as political actions, for example 11th November Independence Day celebrations. Many of its members were imprisoned.

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Poll: The Kaczynskis are losing support

15 03 2007

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza

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According to the newest CBOS poll, Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s government has the lowest support since its forming. Number of its opponents is record high.

Kaczynski’s predecessors: Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz and Marek Belka had never had such bad poll results. Even Leszek Miller [whose government collapsed under corruption scandals], got to such number of opponents after two whole years in power.

Lech Kaczynski’s results also hit record low. The number of citizens satisfied with his presidency is the lowest since election, whereas over half of the people (58%) are dissatisfied with him. Moreover, one third of those who voted for him, now find themselves in the group of dissatisfied.

A decline in support is also reflected in the party poll of 9-11 March. Opposistion Citizens Platform (PO) gained 6 percent and now has the support of 36%, whereas the governing Law and Justice (PiS) are 12% behind with 24%.

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