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'Waitergate' scandal: Ex Polish FM called Lithuanian officials 'thieves', 'cheats'

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 07.08.2017 12:57
Former Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski reportedly accused Lithuanian authorities of being “thieves” and “cheats” in an expletive-laden “Waitergate” recording recently aired for the first time.
Radosław Sikorski was Poland's Foreign Minister between 2007 and 2014. Photo: European External Action Service. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Radosław Sikorski was Poland's Foreign Minister between 2007 and 2014. Photo: European External Action Service. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

According to state broadcaster TVP, the recordings – part of a major wire-tapping scandal that rocked the government in 2014 – are from February 2014 and show the foreign minister at the time, Radosław Sikorski, instructing Polish state-run refiner Orlen's CEO Jacek Krawiec on how to deal with Lithuanian authorities.

The Lithuanian authorities were reportedly “causing problems” for the Polish refiner in regards to a plant in Mazeikiai, northwestern Lithuania, which Orlen took over in 2006, according to the wPolicyce.pl portal.

“I read that... this is one big sham,” Krawiec reportedly said in the recording.

“Thieves. They're cheats,” Sikorski reportedly replied.

“Screw such a deal. I want to teach the Lithuanians so they understand that sh**ting on Poland comes at a price,” Sikorski added.

Between July 2013 and June 2014, the conversations of people in the upper echelons of Polish politics, business and public service were recorded without their knowledge at the fashionable Sowa & Przyjaciele restaurant in Warsaw and later leaked to media.

Such recordings are illegal in Poland and under the penal code are punishable by up to two years in jail.

A Polish businessman was found guilty of masterminding the recordings and was sentenced to 30 months in jail – subject to appeal – while another businessman and a waiter received suspended sentences.

A second waiter was fined but avoided sentencing by helping prosecutors with their investigation.

Among those recorded in the scandal were former Interior Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, former central bank head Marek Belka and current Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawicki, then a chairman of a major bank.

The conversations, many of them expletive-ridden, of more than 100 people were illegally recorded on 66 occasions; their revelation rocked Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO) government in 2014, later leading to the resignation of at least nine high-ranking party members.

Civic Platform leader Grzegorz Schetyna on Monday said the latest revelations by the Polish state broadcaster’s TVP Info channel were propaganda aiming to discredit the PO, which is now in opposition, pointing out that the wire-tapping scandal was three-and-a-half years old.

Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, an MEP from Poland’s ruling, conservative Law and Justice party, said the recordings show "what the Civic Platform is like on the inside".


Source: TVP, PAP, wPolityce

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