France has too much freedom: Lech Walesa

31st August 2006, Comments 0 comments

VIENNA, Aug 30, 2006 (AFP) - Poland's former president and legendary head of the Solidarity union, Lech Walesa, hailed the role played by the country's current political leaders, the twin brothers Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, within the European Union as a counterpoint to the "French model".

VIENNA, Aug 30, 2006 (AFP) - Poland's former president and legendary head of the Solidarity union, Lech Walesa, hailed the role played by the country's current political leaders, the twin brothers Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, within the European Union as a counterpoint to the "French model".

In an interview to appear Thursday in the Austrian daily Der Standard, Walesa said that "the French model, which is based on freedom, has not been effective and is bad. (But) if there did not exist people like Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, that is what would be chosen" for the future of the EU.

"France has built an open society, inviting Africans and Arabs to its country, building mosques, and not churches. And after there was fire in the streets," the conservative former head of state and Nobel peace laureate said.

"You have to thank God there exist people like the Kaczynskis."

The attitude of the new Polish government dominated by President Lech Kaczynski, and his twin, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the new prime minister, has raised concerns within the EU, especially regarding their positions in favor of the death penalty, opposition to homosexuality and alleged anti-Semitism.

On Wednesday, Jaroslaw Kaczynski met with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to try to reassure him that Poland would not go against the "community of values" held by EU member states.

Walesa, Poland's first democratic president from 1990 to 1995, did not rule out seeking that position again "if the country needs me".

Personally he said he did not care for the Kaczynskis. "Not because of their political views, but because of their style".

"I do not agree with their authoritarian tendencies," he told the paper.

Asked about Poland's controversial ultra-Catholic Radio Marija, Walesa said he supported about 95 percent of its programmes and that he never heard anti-Semitic remarks on the station.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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