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Poland's Kaczynski bashes Germany in run-up to EU poll

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Poland's Kaczynski bashes Germany in run-up to EU poll
Photo: DPA
11:54 CEST+02:00
Two weeks ahead of the European elections, Poland's right-wing opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski is stirring up anti-German sentiment in an attempt to garner votes.

Kaczynski, leader of Poland's PiS Law and Justice party and twin brother of Polish Presidend Lech Kaczynski, this week called on Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to address the EU election platform of Germany's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel's party and its Bavarian allies have called for the outlawing of forced displacement internationally, and that rights to one's homeland are respected. Kaczynski claims the Germans will use these clauses to try to repopulate the Western areas of Poland that were part of Germany until the end of the Second World War. Tusk‘s PO (Civic Platform) party, along with the CDU and CSU, belongs to the European People's Party in within the European Parliament.

The CSU Secretary General Alexander Dobrindt described Kaczynski's claims as the “unbearable interfering of a someone forever stuck in the past.” He said that reconciliation and coming to terms with the injustices of displacement belonged together, and added that he hoped Prime Minster Tusk would not “rise to the bait.”

The parliamentary head of Tusk's party, Zbigniew Chlebowski, said that the PiS was exploiting “anti-German phobia and the language of aggression” and said that Kaczynski should stop using rhetoric aimed at Poland's western neighbours.

But in resorting to stirring anti-German sentiments, the national conservatives are using a tried and tested method. In 2005, they secured victories in the parliamentary and presidential elections in part by defaming Tusk's grandfather as a volunteer for the German Wehrmacht during the war.

This time, however, Kaczynski's efforts don't look likely to be successful: in a poll published on Wednesday, Tusk's party held 47 percent of support against 25 percent for the national conservatives ahead of the EU vote on June 7.

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