Jarosław Kaczyński, the chairman of Poland’s ruling social gathering, has accused opposition chief Donald Tusk of being aligned with Russia’s pursuits and opposition media of working in the same method to their Russian counterparts.
In an interview with the conservative Gazeta Polska, Kaczyński additionally stated that his Regulation and Justice (PiS) social gathering’s largest problem forward of parliamentary elections scheduled for subsequent yr will probably be tackling inflation and shielding essentially the most susceptible from its results.
#TVPInfo | Zawsze, gdy w grę wchodzi żywotny interes Polski, #Tusk jest przeciw. Bardzo często wówczas jego punkt widzenia jest zbieżny z rosyjską propagandą – ocenił wicepremier i prezes Prawa i Sprawiedliwości Jarosław #Kaczyński. Cały wywiad ukaże się w środę w @GPtygodnik pic.twitter.com/umShlN4iSo
— TOP TVP INFO (@TOPTVPINFO) June 12, 2022
“At any time when Poland’s very important pursuits are at stake, Tusk is in opposition to [them],” stated Kaczyński, who, although formally solely a deputy prime minister is, as PiS chairman, essentially the most highly effective determine within the ruling coalition. “Fairly often his standpoint then coincides with Russian propaganda.”
“Moscow desires to trigger chaos on our continent and lead Europe right into a critical disaster,” he continued. “There isn’t a gray space: you may be on the aspect of both good or evil. Tusk stands on the latter.”
For example, Kaczyński pointed to current remarks by Tusk – chief of Civic Platform (PO), the most important opposition social gathering – by which he raised concern over Ukrainian grain coming into the Polish market and thereby reducing income for Polish producers. His feedback had been reported approvingly by Russian state media.
Nevertheless, Tusk additionally made clear it’s “indeniable” that Ukraine have to be helped. “Nevertheless it have to be organised in such a method that this doesn’t imply extreme losses for Polish farmers,” he added.
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In his interview with Gazeta Polska, Kaczyński additionally accused the opposition and its supportive media of “making a counter-reality”, which he likened to the strategies employed by the Kremlin.
“In Russia, the media feeds individuals with messages that don’t have anything to do with actuality – even being a brutal and crude denial of it – and we even have media [in Poland] that work not less than equally,” stated the PiS chairman. “The media is a serious constraint on our public debate.”
To display his level, Kaczyński famous that opposition media declare PiS is supportive of Putin, whereas in reality “we’re pursuing the best coverage of power independence from Russia in Europe and supporting Ukraine by all means attainable”.
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PiS has itself been accused by not solely the opposition but in addition many specialists of looking for to limit media freedom. It has turned public broadcasters into authorities mouthpieces and used state funds and authorized motion to help pleasant shops and put strain on important ones.
Because of this, since PiS got here to energy in 2015 Poland has fallen from its highest ever place of 18th within the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters With out Borders to its lowest ever place of 66th this yr.
In response to Kaczyński’s newest remarks, Tusk tweeted that they present PiS believes “the elimination of the media and the opposition is a situation for actual public debate”.
In April, Tusk himself accused Kaczyński of “implementing Putin’s plan” by stoking divisions amongst Poles. Final yr he additionally claimed that the PiS chief was “implementing Putin’s agenda” by allying with pro-Russian events in Europe.
Authorities is “implementing Putin’s plan” by stoking division amongst Poles, says Tusk
Gazeta Polska additionally requested Kaczyński what, other than the disaster in Ukraine, was the best problem going through PiS. “It’s undoubtedly inflation,” he replied.
“We’re confronted with an especially necessary query: will we find a way to regulate inflation through the dozen or so months separating us from the elections, and can we be capable to present reduction to these whom it has hit the toughest,” stated Kaczyński.
Even earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Poland had the EU’s highest ranges of inflation. The battle has accelerated worth rises additional, with inflation reaching 13.9% in Could, its highest degree for the reason that Nineties. Some forecasts point out the determine will quickly go 20%.
Poland’s central financial institution has raised its benchmark rate of interest by 75bps to six% amid surging inflation.
It’s the ninth enhance since October final yr and brings the speed to its highest degree in virtually 14 years. pic.twitter.com/gaJu2GBvDw
— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) June 8, 2022
The federal government has sought to defend Poles from the consequences of what it calls “Putinflation” brought on by Russia’s actions. It has launched new handouts and tax cuts to melt the blow on individuals’s wallets. However critics say that such insurance policies danger stoking inflation even additional.
Kaczyński defended the federal government’s actions, arguing that they’re necessitated by Poland’s financial circumstances.
“Within the West, the combat [against inflation] is waged by limiting the buying energy of individuals, and it will in all probability result in an impact fairly shortly,” he argued. “Wage progress there may be a lot decrease than inflation.”
“We can not comply with this path, as a result of it could be felt way more by Poles,” he continued. “We won’t restrict social advantages; we’ll decrease taxes. We’ve got to elucidate this to voters.”
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Fundamental picture credit score: Slawomir Kaminski / Agencja Wyborcza.pl
Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a variety of publications, together with International Coverage, POLITICO Europe, EUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.