One more country to test the EU project: Kaczynski’s Poland

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a Eurosceptic Polish politician, President of the Law and Justice party (PiS), which won last year an absolute majority in the legislative election and formed a single party government. © European Union, 2006 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Christian Lambiotte .

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a Eurosceptic Polish politician, President of the Law and Justice party (PiS). Last October this party won an absolute majority in a legislative election and formed a new government. © European Union, 2006 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Christian Lambiotte .

Poland, with a population of 40 million or 8% of the EU is not the land locked and Russia loving Hungary that Brussels may easily pretend doesn’t exist. The October electoral triumph of the Eurosceptic, if not anti-EU, Law and Justice party (PiS) under the extreme right wing politician Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a rampant populist, decisively darkens Europe’s political horizons. Brussels, Berlin and Paris will not be able from now on to act as if the EU is a solid union, especially now that Britain may quit the club in 2017. If you add to that the still probable Grexit or the Czech Republic’s and Slovakia’s straying direction, things have turned sour for the European Union.

The migration issue has undoubtedly tested the cohesiveness of the EU. It has strengthened the position of the populist, xenophobic and nationalistic political forces. However, the rhetoric of all those Eurosceptic groups found surprisingly fertile grounds in the electorates all around Europe. Such extreme political language couldn’t have been convincing in the 1990s, despite the fact that the central and east European countries having then just got rid of their communist oppressors, were impoverished and leaning towards political brinkmanship. Neither the presently outspreading Euroscepticism would have flourished in the first years of the new Millennium, with the economy growing steadily and the majority of working people confident about the future.

It’s not only immigration

During the past five to six years though, after the 2008-2010 financial crisis, unemployment started rising and on top of that a growing number of people in employment found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Eurostat, the EU statistical service revealed that the real percentage of unemployment was almost the double than the official rates. This newspaper on January 21, 2014 produced a revealing article about that.

It’s clear now for a large part of the voters that the future holds more unequal distribution of income to the detriment of the average man in the street. It is also true that the middle classes in many EU countries are watching their children grow old being unemployed or taking up ‘mini jobs’, that cannot support the standard of living the family used to have. Even those in full time employment feel insecure about their future. This is also clearly depicted in statistics, with the income inequality growing faster than ever.

An insecure future

The result is that for a growing part of the population the European ideals cannot placate them in their everyday problems. Even worse, many people tend to perceive the EU as the cause of the mounting concentration of wealth and political power in progressively fewer hands, thus undermining the position of not only the working but of the middle classes too. The giant multinationals become bigger every day using the merger and acquisition techniques and openly avoiding taxation, while the quality of the jobs they offer is in most cases deplorable. Day after day fewer and fewer jobs are of the good old kind, secure and well paid.

Regrettably, it’s not only in the ex communist countries of central and eastern Europe where Euroscepticism and anti-EU feelings are growing. France, Italy and all the other south EU member states are increasingly suffering from economic and political pessimism. Terrorism, immigration and the growing pressures on the civil freedoms – security and privacy from government measures meant to counter the modern asymmetrical threats – make things worse. These realities empower the political parties on both edges of the spectrum.

Drifting to the edges

The latest election in Portugal brought to power a governing alliance similar to the Greek SYRIZA of Alexis Tsipras. For similar reasons, the last election in Spain has left the country without a viable governing scheme. In this last case though, the tragic consequences of the confrontation between left and right in the civil war and the Franco dictatorship that followed it, have prevented the extreme right or left from getting stronger.

What is now happening in Poland is actually leading the country to an internal conflict between the extreme right of Kaczynski and the other political parties. His hideous acts of appointing the five new members of the Constitutional Court, and legislating the subjection of state media directly under his PiS party influence, were unthinkable to an EU country some years ago. Inconveniently, Kaczynski’s perversion cannot be stopped by Brussels or Berlin. Brussels seems pitiful having swallowed Kaczynski’s Constitutional Court coup in October, and now just looks on pathetically as journalists resign. As for Germany, the more Berlin acts against Kaczynski, the more his position is strengthened in the eyes of a large part of the Polish voters. Nobody in Poland has forgotten the German atrocities in WWII.

Blaming Brussels and Berlin

Again, some years ago nobody would have dared reprimand modern Germany so brutally and directly with shocking parallels and references to what the Nazis did in WW II. In many EU countries though, this behavior against Germany has lately reached disturbing limits. This is again a sign of the times we live in. It’s indicative of the reasons why many Europeans seem to want to take refuge in nationalism and xenophobia, fearing that a strengthened EU may bring them back to an autocratic Germanic Europe. Together with it comes the fear of undemocratic concentration of political power and wealth.

Unfortunately, what is happening today in Poland is not an accident. We live in the aftermath of a devastating economic crisis, an alarming concentration of wealth and a wave of terror unseen before. And it is rather impossible to reverse all that.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

EU to spend €135.5 billion in 2014 or 6.5% less than this year

Biggest London City Banks ready to move core European operations to Frankfurt or Dublin?

A new global financial crisis develops fast; who denies it?

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

The EU can afford to invest trillions in support of employment

On the euro but out of it?

Turkey caught in a vicious Syrian circle bringing terror and war at home

JADE Testimonial #1: Marcello @ Enlargement

On Youth Participation: Are we active citizens?

The Parliament accuses core EU countries of exploiting their dominant political position

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

EU regional differences betray an unjust arrangement

World Health Organisation and young doctors: is there any place for improvement?

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

Two women threaten to tear the world apart

Imaginary Journeys Into Eternal China

MEP Cristiana Muscardini @ European Business Summit 2014: International Trade in Europe

High-technology manufacturing saves the EU industry

Galileo funding: A ‘small’ difference of €700 million

Can Europe and the US reverse their nationalist and xenophobic drift? Is the West becoming belligerent?

The Brits are not an exception and that’s why they voted to leave

Minsk “ceasefire” leaves more doubts than safety, with EU already planning steps further

ECB’s first flight in Eurozone’s banking universe will be just a reconnaissance

The British “nonsense”, the relaxed Commissioner and the TTIP “chiaroscuro” at this week’s Council

MWC 2016: IoT experts fret over fragmentation

Why France, Italy and the US press Germany to accept a cheaper euro and pay for Greece

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

High level political talks didn’t break the stalemate in Ukraine

“Airbnb and YouTube are two great examples of a crowd based capitalism”, key stakeholders outline the boundaries of the 4th Industrial Revolution in Davos

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

Trump asked Merkel to pay NATO arrears and cut down exports ignoring the EU

EU to gain the most from the agreement with Iran

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

Brexit: when the hubris of one man can set the UK, the EU and the entire world on fire

Hollande protects the euro from the attacks of extremists

New chapters in EU-China trade disputes

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

“No labels for entrepreneurs!”, a young business leader from Italy cries out

Europe slammed by Turkey’s shaky Erdoğan; both playing with immigrants’ agony

Inegalitarian taxation on labour haunts Europe’s social model

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

The EU Parliament and the ECB unknowingly or unwillingly fail to protect our financial assets

ECB’s new money bonanza handed out to help the real economy or create new bubbles?

Dear China

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

JADE President opens JADE Spring Meeting 2014

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Yang Yanyi, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU at the Chinese Fashion Night

An entrepreneurial point-of view on tackling the migration crisis and the risks of abolishing Schengen

France and Poland to block David Cameron’s plans on immigration

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Laurence says:

    Surely, it’s a pity that “Brussels, Berlin and Paris are not able any more to act as if the EU is a solid union” as the Eurosceptic government, headed by Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s L&J Party, came to power in Poland. Nevertheless it does not afford ground for posting slime towards the very J. Kaczynski on the Internet!
    http://beforeitsnews.com/eu/2016/02/european-unity-is-being-undermined-by-a-retarded-politician-2599152.html

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s