EU summit: PM hits out at ‘vilification’ of Poland
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło has said she protested during an EU summit on Friday against her country being “vilified and insulted” in the European Parliament.
PM Beata Szydło. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz
After a European Union summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, Szydło said she had told EU leaders that "there cannot be a situation such as... during a debate in the European Parliament when one of the nations of our great European family is vilified and insulted."
The European Parliament on Wednesday debated the rule of law and democracy in Poland and said the situation in the country posed a “clear risk of a serious breach” of the European Union’s values.
MEPs also voted to trigger the first stage of the “Article Seven” procedure.
Poland must respect the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, and fundamental rights, otherwise the country’s right to vote in the EU Council may be suspended, the European Parliament warned.
During a debate in the European Parliament, liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt said that 60,000 “fascists” had taken part in a November 11 march in Warsaw on Poland’s Independence Day.
Marchers 'cannot be called fascists'
Szydło told reporters on Friday: "The 60,000 people who came out in Warsaw for a beautiful... march to celebrate Independence Day cannot be called fascists by anyone.”
She insisted that her government "very clearly condemns all extremism".
"But I will never agree to my country, which was the victim of two totalitarian regimes... being vilified and slandered in such a way.”
Meanwhile, a high-ranking Polish senator recently slammed a tweet by a former adviser to Hillary Clinton that denounced the Independence Day gathering in Warsaw as a "Nazi" march.
Stanisław Karczewski, the Speaker of the upper house of Poland’s parliament, said that Poland’s ruling conservatives condemned and distanced themselves from any "extreme behaviour" that occurred during the march.
He added that a "small group" of participants in Saturday’s gathering was responsible for "excesses," which he said he hoped would not occur in the future.