"They Want To Occupy Poland Again" - Merkel, European Union Compared To Nazis In Latest Diplomatic Spat
Ever since the Polish Law and Justice party (PiS) party won elections in October on a Eurosceptic platform, relations between the formerly staunchly pro-Europe Poland, and the European Union have been on a sharp downhill slide, and earlier today they hit a rock bottom when Poland's justice minister dismissed an EU commissioner's criticism of new media regulations as "silly" in a confrontational letter which according to Reuters, "marked a low in the new government's relations with the bloc and the commissioner's home Germany."
It got so bad, Poland pulled out the Nazi card: minister Zbigniew Ziobro questioned Berlin's own record on media freedoms and alluded to Nazi Germany's occupation of Poland during World War Two in the message to EU commissioner Gunther Oettinger.
The reason for the spat is that Oettinger, responsible for the bloc's policy on society - which supposedly means Brussels' current propaganda director - said last week the EU's largest eastern member should be put under supervision over its plans to put Polish public TV and radio broadcasters under state control and to change the makeup of the constitutional court. The EU executive has written to Poland asking how the new media law, giving the treasury minister the right to appoint heads of state-run broadcasters, tallies with EU rules on media freedoms.
The response was scathing: "I am not in the habit of replying to silly comments on Poland made by foreign politicians," Ziobro wrote to Oettinger in a letter published by state news agency PAP on Saturday.
"Such words, said by a German politician, cause the worst of connotations among Poles. Also in me. I'm a grandson of a Polish officer, who during World War II fought in the underground National Army with 'German supervision'," he said.
The National Army was the main Polish resistance movement during World War Two, while "supervision" appeared to be a reference to the Nazi occupation of Poland.
The vocal defense promptly turned into an even sharper offense when Ziobro, whose party advocates higher state spending and conservative Catholic values, also accused German authorities of trying to cover up news of attacks on women in Cologne on New Year's Eve.
"I came to a sad conclusion that it is easier for you to talk about fictitious threats to media freedom in other countries than to condemn censorship in your homeland," Ziobro wrote.
There was no immediate reaction from Brussels or Berlin to the letter. Meanwhile, Poland's foreign minister summoned the German Ambassador for a meeting tomorrow in connection with anti-Polish remarks by German politicians as relations between the two formerly close nations disintegrate.
Finally, assuring that the diplomacy between the two nations is impaired for the foreseeable future, the front page of the Polish Wprost weekly, one of the more popular media outlets in the country, showed the following picture of Merkel, and the EU Commission cronies Juncker, Oettinger and Schultz, with the title "They want to supervise Poland again." Which, as Reuters explained above, means "occupy."
We find it ironic how, for a continent that has supposedly overcome the tensions of its turbulent past and which is pushing for even deeper economic, social, and cultural integration with every staged financial, social and political crisis passing day, its various nations are so willing to remind us that absolutely nothing is forgotten (or forgiven), and that a United State of Europe is about as grand a pipe dream as they come.
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