‘Divided we stand, divided we fall’

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

Poland is being made great again, rising from its knees. America first, Poland second. So, logically, it needs a great capital city. And as its government moves effectively from word to deeds, a proper legal act has been proposed by the Law and Justice (PiS) party, writes Karolina Zbytniewska.

Karolina Zbytniewska is the editor-in-chief of EURACTIV Poland.

The new Warsaw will be a great, great Warsaw. In its doubled version it will be extended with a surrounding 32 communes and 850,000 inhabitants. Almost a million just like that. So probably, one night Warsaw will become a metropolis of over 2.5 million. But as we all know, it’s quality, not quantity that counts. The new Warsaw will no longer be out of control. 30 out of 32 of new communes voted for the PiS in the last elections. Combined with the present unruly Warsaw, out of hand for as many as ten years, it might be finally disciplined.

The future can be great, but only with the past straightened. And Lech Wałęsa, the former president of Poland, who at the helm of Solidarity movement fought a successful battle against communism, doesn’t seem to fit the pedantic ideal. People can be either 100% impeccably crystal clear or with the PiS (we will look into the case of Bartłomiej Misiewicz, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defence in a minute), they are otherwise enemies.

And so, handwriting experts of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) found that Wałęsa – under the codename “Bolek” – wrote or signed a number of secret police documents. Cooperation began in 1970, from 1973 it loosened and was broken in 1976. And according to the existing proof, also possessed by IPN, afterwards, he focused on being a superhero in Poland’s fight against communism. People change, people get wiser. But when we delete Wałęsa from Polish history, the PiS will take over modern history’s pantheon of real heroes.

There’s one I have already briefly mentioned. Still young and wild. 27 years of age, like Wałęsa in 1970. Our political celebrity, Bartłomiej Misiewicz, is generous in buying rounds and offering jobs at nightclubs, enjoying fast drives, offering permanent media attention to the Defense Ministry, even now during his vacations. However, instead of his past adventures, our defence leaders have weathered some substantial criticism. Within the last year, Poland has noted an unexpected series of resignations of key generals. They do not explain the reasons, but allegedly it is in protest against controversial reforms of Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz.

“United we stand, divided we fall” – the title of Donald Tusk’s letter from 31 January perfectly reflects not only the situation of the united West, but also of Poland inside. The letter provoked discussion around Europe, but among Polish leaders just criticism. Our Premier, Beata Szydło, admitted she doesn’t agree, while Foreign Affairs published an official ‘letter’ of discontent, underlining Europe’s need for substantial reform and expressing its disagreement with the treatment of Trump as a threat. I think Tusk was soft. “Divided we stand, divided we fall.”


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