Poland's Kaczynski to sue German media over Berlin tirade

5th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Poland's conservative opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Wednesday he would sue German media for misrepresenting stinging criticism of Berlin he made in a new book.

Without specifying to which German media he was referring, Kaczynski told reporters that his words had been interpreted in an "absolutely unacceptable fashion".

"We're going to take legal action to win damages," he said.

"We've already hired a German legal firm," he added, saying any money he obtained would be handed over to Poland's planned World War II museum.

In his new book "The Poland of our Dreams", Kaczynski wrote that German Chancellor Angela Merkel "represents the generation of German politicians who want to rebuild German imperial power".

"A strategic axis with Moscow is part of that and Poland can only be an obstacle to it," Kaczynski said.

"Our country must be made to submit in one way or another."

Kaczynski heads the conservative Law and Justice party and was Poland's prime minister in 2006-2007.

Ahead of Poland's general election Sunday, his party has narrowed the poll gap on the centrist Civic Platform of Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

As premier, Kaczynski was notorious for outbursts against Berlin and also locked horns with other European Union capitals.

He also repeatedly slammed Warsaw's communist-era master, Moscow.

Tusk has worked to mend fences since winning office in a 2007 snap election.

Reacting Tuesday, Tusk said his predecessor's remarks about Merkel were "sad and worrying" and claimed Kaczynski was trying to wreck Warsaw's relations with Berlin.

On Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle dismissed Kaczynski's claims that Berlin aimed to subjugate Poland again, saying he did not speak for most Poles.

"I have no doubt that a very large majority of Polish people value and cherish the friendship with Germany," Westerwelle told reporters, adding that he would not wade into Poland's election campaign.

Kaczynski often used anti-German oratory in the 2005 general election campaign, playing on the antipathy of some Poles that is rooted in centuries of bad blood, Nazi Germany's World War II occupation and post-war communist rhetoric against West Germany.

© 2011 AFP

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