Even as recent European outcast Poland is demanding World War II reparations from Germany, causing a rift between Warsaw and Berlin, it has engaged in another diplomatic feud, this time with French president Macron, who as we learned overnight spends $10,000 each month on make up.
The latest spat started on Friday when French President Emmanuel Macron said that Poland was isolating itself within the European Union and Polish citizens “deserve better” than a government at odds with "the bloc’s democratic values and economic reform plans." Macron said Warsaw, where a eurosceptic government took office in 2015, was moving in the opposite direction to Europe on numerous issues and "would not be able to dictate the path of Europe’s future."
“Europe is a region created on the basis of values, a relationship with democracy and public freedoms which Poland is today in conflict with,” Macron said in Bulgaria on the third leg of a trip to central and eastern Europe to generate support for his vision of a Europe that better protects its citizens, according to Reuters.
In a vicious attack that is certain to drag relations between western EU powers and the European Commission in Brussels on one side and Poland’s Law and Justice Party (PiS) government on the other to a new low, he said the Polish people deserved better: "Poland is not defining Europe’s future today and nor will it define the Europe of tomorrow,” Macron slammed at a joint press conference with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev in the Black Sea resort city of Varna.
Poland, which is at loggerheads with the European Commission over issues ranging from its refusal to accept EU migrant relocation quotas to the ruling conservatives’ tightening grip on the judiciary and media, promptly responded: shortly after Macron's statement, in a scathing interview Polish Prime Minister Beata Syzdlo lashed out at the French president with the plunging approval rating, saying Macron "would not be deciding the future of Europe."
Syzdlo attacked Macron’s lack of experience and told him to focus on his own country rather than meddling in Polish affairs: "I advise the president that he should be more conciliatory... Perhaps his arrogant comments are a result of a lack of (political) experience."
"I advise the president that he should focus on the affairs of his own country, perhaps he may be able to achieve the same economic results and the same level of security for (French) citizens as those guaranteed by Poland” she added.
Her comments were an indirect reference to her government’s insistence that it will not accept migrants from the Middle East, despite pressure from Brussels, because it believes they pose a threat to national security, as confirmed by "ultra liberal" France which has been hit hard by deadly Islamist militant attacks in recent years.
Following the president's statement, the Polish Foreign Ministry said in a statement it had urgently summoned the French chargé d’affaires to express “the Polish government’s indignation about the arrogant words” of Macron.
Poland's foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski also chimed in saying his country “is not being isolated” and urged Macron to follow developments in central Europe more closely.
“We are hosting an important meeting today so President Macron is not following carefully the news, doesn't know what is happening in this part of Europe. But this happens sometimes. The French economy is not at the moment able to compete with the vibrant economies of many European countries, including Poland" he said. "This is because French workers have enormous social benefits. The working week for many French workers is four, five working days."
Bulgaria also waded into the row, urging France to end its controversial calls for labour regulations across the bloc to be overhauled. Prime minister Boyko Borissov today said “open confrontation” between EU member states is “damaging." Borissov added that rather than threaten Poland, France should “listen to all sides and find a solution”.
As The Express adds, Macron risks falling out with his European allies after sensationally claiming the EU risks collapse unless the bloc’s cheap labour rule is overhauled. Under current legislation, firms are able to send temporary workers from low-wage countries to richer nations without having to pay their local social charges. But the French president is calling for changes and is using fears about the possible collapse of the Brussels bloc to scare EU members into backing his proposals.
Poland and the EU have clashed repeatedly in recent months after the Brussels bloc took issue with Polish government plans to overhaul the Surpeme court. Last month Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski, the chairman of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), declared the reforms will go ahead despite the president’s veto on local television.
President Andrzej Duda’s surprise announcement to veto the plans saw him bow down to EU pressure amid huge protests across Poland's major cities. Last month Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the chairman of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), declared the reforms will go ahead despite the president’s veto on local television. The previously reported surprise announcement by President Andrzej Duda to veto the plans saw him bow down to EU pressure amid huge protests across Poland's major cities.
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Separately, expanding the recent Polish demands that Germany pay for World War II reparations, Szydlo asked that Germany "take responsibility" for World War Two, as Poland is still recovering from the damage done by Nazi occupation, which left millions dead and biuildings damaged on their soil.
She said: “In fact, it could be said that Poland is demanding justice. We are a victim of World War Two and the damage was not reimbursed in any way – just the opposite.” Syzdlo added that "talking about reparations today is a claim for justice and for what belongs to Poland. Whoever has a different view … should first look at history and thoroughly learn what was happening on Polish soil during the war.”
The leader of the Conservative Law and Justice Party joined a chorus of Polish politicians who are demanding reparations from Germany for the massive losses inflicted on Poland during World War Two. Back in July, Szydlo said Poland needed a payout from Germany for the widespread damage done. She told Polish radio: “We are talking here about huge sums, and also about the fact that Germany for many years refused to take responsibility for World War II.”
As we reported earlier this month, Arakadiusz Mularczyk, an MP from with the ruling Law and Justice party said the Polish parliament began researching whether it could make a claim against Germany earlier this year. The move came after Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland's most powerful politician, said in a recent interview the "Polish government is preparing itself for a historical counteroffensive." Kaczynski also called for reparations from Germany when he was prime minister more than a decade ago, creating some tensions between Poland and Germany, which are important trade partners and allies in NATO and the European Union.
The massive suffering inflicted on Poland by Germany has been a topic of public discussion recently as Poland marked the anniversary of the start of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 on August 1. Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Germans need to "pay back the terrible debt they owe to the Polish people", according to Reuters.
Germany has dismissed these claims saying it has dealt with reparations in the past and will not pay out any more. Ulrike Demmer, a German deputy government spokeswoman said Berlin will not make any changes to its stance on the matter. Demmer added this was Germany’s “fundamental position.”
Germany has paid billions of euros over the years in compensation for Nazi crimes, primarily to Jewish survivors, and acknowledges the country's responsibility for keeping alive the memory of Nazi atrocities and atoning for them. However, while the calls grow louder for compensation, Poland's former communist government said it would not make claims on Germany. Macierewicz said the communist-era Poland was a "Soviet puppet state" whose decision is not legally valid today.