Poland protests to Germany over Taz article

4th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

4 July 2006, WARSAW - Polish officials want German authorities to criticise a newspaper article published in a left-leaning German daily which they argue offends Poland's right-wing President Lech Kaczynski.

4 July 2006

WARSAW - Polish officials want German authorities to criticise a newspaper article published in a left-leaning German daily which they argue offends Poland's right-wing President Lech Kaczynski.

Presidential spokesman Andrzej Krawczyk insisted Tuesday in Warsaw the article titled "A young Polish potato. The villains who want to rule the world," published by Germany's "Die Tageszeitung" daily deeply offended Poland's head of state.

The article's author slams Kaczynski's moves to ban gay pride parades during his term as mayor of the capital Warsaw and accuses both him and his twin brother Jaroslaw of authoritarian tendencies.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski leads the governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party and is regarded as the power-broker behind the right-wing - populist coalition government of Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz,

Marcinkiewicz himself described the article as "disgusting" on Tuesday.

"This is simply not done," Marcinkiewicz told TVP1. "It is difficult to imagine that anyone in Poland would allow themselves to publish such an offensive article about the president of another country," he said.

Poland has sent an official protest to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"We expect some words of criticism or sympathy or expression of opposition to a publication like this about the head of a state which is friendly with Germany," Krawczyk said.

He, however, said he understood that in democracies, governments could not control the press.

Krawczyk also insisted that President Lech Kaczynski's cancellation of a Monday trip to Germany to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Jacques Chirac to mark the 15th anniversary of the trilateral Weimar Triangle group was not motivated by bitterness over the "Die Tageszeitung" article.

Poland's leading liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza suggested Tuesday that Kaczynski may have been irked by the article and so cancelled the trip. Presidential spokesmen have however dismissed the idea, insisting instead Kaczynski was prevented from making the trip by a digestive tract ailment.

Kaczynski is expected to recover by the end of this week. The delayed Weimar Triangle summit is likely go ahead in September, according to Krawczyk.

DPA

Subject: German news

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