The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has launched an astonishing attack on the Polish government, calling his ability to act as an honest broker between EU member-states into question.
“Alarm!” the EU president’s excitable, late-night message began. “Bitter dispute with Ukraine, isolation within the European Union, departure from the rule of law and independent courts, attacks on the NGO sector and free media — the strategy of [Poland’s government] or a Kremlin plan? Too similar to sleep peacefully.”
Prime Minister Beata Szydło, whose conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) turfed Tusk’s left-liberal Civic Platform (PO) out of office in a landslide shortly after he took up his EU position, shot back, saying he had “done nothing” for Poland since he went to Brussels, and is now using his position to attack it.
Alarm! Ostry spór z Ukrainą, izolacja w Unii Europejskiej, odejście od rządów prawa i niezawiłości sądów, atak na sektor pozarządowy i wolne media – strategia PiS czy plan Kremla? Zbyt podobne, by spać spokojnie.
— Donald Tusk (@donaldtusk) November 19, 2017
A statement on the website of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) went further, observing that “Donald Tusk remains an instrument in the hands of Europe’s liberal-left elite, who find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that Poland is governed by a conservative party”.
The MFA also notes that Tusk has “cut himself off from Polishness” since he stepped down as prime minister under the ousted Civil Platform Party (PO) in order to take up his EU position — swapping a 240,000 złoty (€60,000) salary in Warsaw for a package of pay and perks worth well over €300,000 a year, including a five-limousine personal motorcade in Brussels.
European Union Waging ‘Policy of Harassment’ Against Conservative Poland https://t.co/Iu4TeERdba
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 15, 2017
Other PiS figures, such as parliament member Dominik Tarczyński, have suggested Tusk appears to be serving Germany’s interests, trying to divide Poles from each other and from their neighbours in Ukraine.
Polish media has recorded an even more hostile reception from ordinary members of the public on social media, who have branded Tusk a saboteur and a traitor for slighting his home country — which opposed his reappointment as President of the European Council in October, but had him forced upon them by the rest of the EU regardless.