Polish ex-foreign ministers blast Kaczynski's Germany tirade

6th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Five former Polish foreign ministers on Thursday rounded on conservative opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski for his claim that German Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted to subjugate Poland.

"We protest vehemently against the latest remarks by Jaroslaw Kaczynski on Polish-German relations," Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Andrzej Olechowski, Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Dariusz Rosati and Adam Rotfeld said in a joint statement quoted by Poland's PAP news agency.

They blasted Kaczynski's "insinuation" in his new book "The Poland of our Dreams" that Merkel may have been propelled into office in 2005 by political forces which he did not identify and has refused to do so.

Kaczynski, whose book was released ahead of Sunday's general election in Poland, wrote that 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."

The ex-ministers said such language was highly damaging and underlined that relations had flowered between the two neighbours since Poland and East Germany's communist regimes crumbled in 1989 and East and West Germany were united the following year.

"In any dialogue with a foreign partner, notably with such a close partner, there is no place for the language of insinuation," they said.

"At present we feel a moral obligation to say to Angela Merkel: We stand in solidarity with you. Poles and Germans have much to do together. Not only in bilateral ties, but also for the good of a united Europe," they added.

Kaczynski has already been chastised by Prime Minister Donald Tusk, current Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and their political ally President Bronislaw Komorowski.

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

Ahead of the election, his party had narrowed the gap on Tusk and Sikorski's centrist Civic Platform, but is now trailing.

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

Poland joined the EU in 2004 and currently holds the rotating presidency of the 27-nation bloc.

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

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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