WARSAW – An attempt to introduce ‘Putin’s standards’

After thousands of Poles protested on Wednesday against reforms undermining judicial independence and freedom of expression of judges, the relevant bill was debated in parliament.

“It’s a response to the coup and anarchy of a handful of judges at the service of total opposition,’” said Przemysław Kanthak who represents Solidarna Polska, one of two minor parties allied with PiS.

“Times change, but you’re always on the wrong side. You are an anti-Polish party, an anti-European party, because what you are doing right now is taking Poland out of the EU. This is an attempt to introduce Putin’s standards. It’s Turkish solutions,” replied Borys Budka (PO), one of the most prominent opposition politicians who wants to contest the leadership of his party in January.

The debate could have been avoided as there was a vote on whether to include it into the agenda. The opposition had a chance to withdraw it, as many PiS MPs were absent, but 30 opposition MPs also didn’t show up. For that behaviour, PO fined its MPs and many who were present said they felt ashamed for their colleagues who didn’t attend.

The European Commission has warned Poland that it should not adopt the controversial bill. “We are concerned about the statements of the Polish authorities on the action taken following the CJEU judgment and the planned adoption of the bill,” a Commission spokesman said.

(Łukasz Gadzała | EURACTIV.pl)

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