Wednesday, October 28, 2015
'Refugees...not Welcome' - A far-right, anti-refugee party has won a landslide victory in Poland.
'Refugees...not Welcome' - A far-right, anti-refugee party has won a landslide victory in Poland. (Thejournal.ie).
POLAND’S CONSERVATIVE LAW and Justice party won a landslide in yesterday’s general election on anti-refugee rhetoric and welfare promises, ending eight years of centrist rule in a victory that risks inflaming tensions with the EU and Russia.
The eurosceptic PiS led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski garnered an outright majority, according to projections from partial results by local television channels, ousting leftist parties from parliament for the first time since the fall of communism in 1989.
“This is the first time in the history of Polish democracy that a single party has scored (an outright) majority” in the Sejm, the lower house, Kaczynski said in a victory speech after Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz conceded defeat.
He also paid tribute to his twin bother, the late president Lech Kaczynski, who died in a 2010 plane crash in Smolensk, western Russia, saying: “Without him, we wouldn’t be here today. His spirit is stronger than his body. We must keep his memory alive.”
His push for power preyed on fears arising from Europe’s worst migrant crisis since World War II and analysts said a PiS government was likely to reverse Kopacz’s decision to accept refugees under an EU quota plan.
Kaczynski claimed refugees were bringing “cholera to the Greek islands, dysentery to Vienna, various types of parasites,” in comments that critics said recalled the Nazi era.
He insists Warsaw should financially support EU efforts to tackle the crisis, but not take in refugees — a view surveys suggest is shared by nearly 60 percent of Poles.
“After eight years in opposition, Kaczynski is making a big comeback,” Warsaw political analyst Eryk Mistewicz told AFP.
Poland has become an east European heavyweight after a quarter century of explosive growth and vastly-improved living standards since the demise of communism.
“Rather than aggressively locking horns with the EU, he will look for ways to extract maximum benefit from it. With Russia, he may also forego confrontation,” he said.
Analysts agree the PiS will still anchor Poland’s security policy in NATO and strong US ties as a buffer against any threat from Russia.
It will seek ways to continue heavy reliance on coal at upcoming global climate talks, and joining the eurozone will remain a distant prospect.
Some warn Kaczynski’s return could relaunch a political dynamic tinged with authoritarian overtones.
“If PiS end up governing alone with an allied president, Poland will become another Hungary,” Polish Academy of Sciences professor Radoslaw Markowski told AFP. Hmmm......As i warned far right will rise all over Europe. Read the full story here.