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Polish reporter Polish reporter
by Euro Reporter
2007-10-16 10:03:01
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No more Mr. Nice Guy

Poland's opposition leader has mocked the prime minister for lacking a driver's license, compared him with a notorious communist and accused him of forcing two million Poles from their homeland. Donald Tusk, a trim, sandy-blonde economic liberal, is showing a new toughness as he fights to unseat Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski in elections this Sunday, revealing steel unseen when he failed to win power in 2005.

Polls show a tight contest between Tusk's pro-business and socially conservative Civic Platform, and Kaczynski's Law and Justice, which is also conservative, but favors greater social spending to help the needy and is more skeptical of the European Union.

The bitter truth is that the amazing twins must go out from power in Poland but what remains causes more wonders. Their anti-communist menace has often led their policies to the limits of fascism and Poland has been often under criticism from the European Parliament, not to forget all the problems the twins caused in the last summit.

Poland may block Russia's entrance to WTO

Poland warned on Monday that it would block Russia's entrance to the World Trade Organization if Moscow did not cancel an embargo on exports of Polish meat and produce. Russia imposed the ban in late-2005 after uncovering what it said were violations of food safety regulations. Polish officials maintain that the country's food quality standards meet EU norms and that the embargo is political.

"If Russia's position toward Poland doesn't change, we will have to vote against Russia's membership in WTO," Deputy Agriculture Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski told a news conference in Moscow, according to Russian news agencies.

Poland also warned it would continue to block a strategic EU-Russia agreement if the embargo was not lifted. "Poland has to link these two issues — the embargo and the signing of a new agreement between Russia and the European Union," Ardanowski was quoted as saying.

The question that arises is not if Russia will stop banning Polish meat but if Polish meat meets the standards of food safety regulations and if the EU can guarantee that they do.

Polish Church Advises People How To Vote

The Polish Catholic Church reminded Poland's voters that they have an obligation to vote in keeping with the fundamental values taught by the Church. In a letter by Polish Bishops that was read to congregations all over Poland this weekend, people were told that they should pay attention to the moral condition of political candidates, their identity, values and readiness to cooperate with others.

Prime Minister Kaczynski's voter base rests primarily in the countryside among the older population and followers of Radio Maria's Father Taduesz Rydzyk. These voters are devoutly Catholic and tend to support Kaczynski. How much some of them support him and his party was made reported today in the Polish Weekly Gazeta Wyborcza.

In Lublin, after a church service yesterday, PIS flyers were distributed on the church's premises and when a Gazeta Wyborcza reporter started taking pictures, some people surrounded him, started calling him names, and told him to "f**k off!" - One woman even hit him in the face. Finally a man urged people to calm down and the reporter was able to get away.

The candidates whose fliers were distributed said that they had no idea about what happened. They said that people take their flyers and distribute them any way they want. Candidates have no control over what they do.

It seems that the Vatican will never stop getting involved in Polish politics despite the fact that the wall has fallen and the Polish Pope is dead.

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Emanuel Paparella2007-10-16 12:34:44
Facts: 1)Poland is a country of 38 million, 95% of them call themselves Catholics and a majority attend church regularly. Within a neo-pagan EU wherein the vast majority prefer soccer games to church on Sunday that is indeed an anomaly of sort. 2) The principle of religious freedom within a democratic EU and accepted by the Catholic Church advocates toleration and even defense of such an “anomaly,” whether one likes it or not. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2007-10-16 12:37:33
Opinions: There is of course another important democratic principle: that of the separation of church and state which has nothing to do with the liquidation of one by the other but rather with respect for each other’s proper role within a Catholic community: the spiritual and the political; which does not mean that the clergy is forbidden to participate, as citizens in a political dialogue in the public agora. Within 38 million people surely there are some, even within the clergy, who do not agree with the egregious violation of that separation by Rydzyk. For example, a Catholic priest, Andrzei Luter, has this to say on the issue: “The Radio Marvja problem is very harmful for the church and will backfire. We should be totally freed of political pressures otherwise we will pay a price for it.” Moreover, many Polish bishops led by Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, the late Pope’s closest aide, accuse politicians of abusing the Church for party propaganda and have called on clerics not to get involved in politics. Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek from Krakow has said that “There are forces in the Polish church which have not realized that in the 21st century there is a secular state and that the church and the state are separated. Such behavior is scandalous.” In my opinion, the canvas of Chruch conspiracy against democracy ought to be painted with a more nuanced brush or one begins to suspect that a larger canvas is at work, with what I call anti-religion caricatures and bigotry.

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