Status: 11.10.2021 7:01 a.m.

In Poland tens of thousands took to the streets for a future for their country in the EU. The government is trying to calm the people down. But uncertainty and fear run deep.

By Jan Pallokat, ARD Studio Warsaw

The Palace Square in Warsaw was full of people in the early evening – and more demonstrators kept coming. Many waved the blue EU flags. There was a rather quiet, depressed mood, interrupted by occasional chants. The cursed – often with vulgar words – the national-conservative ruling party PiS or demanded: “We stay in the EU”.

Jan Pallokat
ARD studio Warsaw

Weak loudspeakers ensured that the appearances broadcast live on private television could hardly be heard on the protest stage. Donald Tusk naturally received special attention: the former President of the EU Council of Member States had returned to Polish domestic politics a few months ago and had temporarily taken over the largest opposition party, the right-wing liberal Civic Platform.

Clear words from Donald Tusk

Tusk himself had given the initial spark for the nationwide demonstrations with a call to protest, as soon as the country’s constitutional court had ruled. The court found that certain elements of EU law violated the Polish Constitution. This gave national law priority over EU law.

He shouted to the demonstrators: “A group of actors who have put on judges’ robes have decided, on behalf of a party leader, to lead our fatherland out of the European Union. These handfuls of people do not shy away from any lie, not even the Polish one Constitution is in conflict with the EU. ”

Tusk continues: “We take the truth for granted, but all of Poland should hear it. Pseudo-laws, pseudo-judgments that violate our constitution and European law. We defend the constitution, we defend the republic from those who authorize it.”

Controversial reform of the judiciary

An irregular reorganization of the constitutional court marked the beginning of the so-called judicial reforms in Poland. The PiS government ignored a judgment by the court itself, which rejected this conversion. Since then, the court has been considered biased. It is hardly active any more – and if, as in the case of the most recent question of legal precedence, more at the instigation of representatives from the government camp.

Tens of thousands protest in Poland against the controversial ruling of the Constitutional Court

Demian von Osten, ARD Moscow, daily topics 9:35 p.m., 10.10.2021

Nevertheless, the judgment on EU law found approval beyond the PiS camp. About to the right of the ruling party among supporters of the “Confederation” party. This is a reservoir for nationalists, radical libertarians and colorful personalities – and meanwhile a serious political competitor to the PiS.

In surveys, this group recently gained approval, also because it addresses and binds opponents of the corona policy. The constitutional court ruling met with approval from them. Nationalist leader Robert Bakiewicz, for example, said: “Polish law takes precedence over European law. This is how it is in Germany, France and in many other EU countries, and we are demanding that too. Poland is sovereign and we want to keep this sovereignty.”

Right-wing national counter-demonstrators

Extreme right-wing groups had called for a counter-demonstration for the day in Warsaw and at times drowned out the appearances on the speaker’s stage in front of the liberal opponents of the constitutional court ruling.

When a very old veteran of the Warsaw uprising against the German occupiers spoke up and was drowned out in the process, an emotional moment was reached. She addressed the address of the right-wing counter-demonstrators behind the speaker’s platform: “Be quiet, stupid man. Be quiet, you bully. I am a soldier who remembers how blood flowed and my comrades died. Also on their behalf I shout: Nobody will lead me out of my fatherland or out of Europe, because Europe is also my mother. “

Politicians of the PiS party commented on the protests and especially on Tusk’s appearance on the Internet. Tenor: The Polexit was an invention of a weak opposition that could not think of anything else. Poland remains a member of the EU, only Poland would represent its own interests in the EU today.

Protests against constitutional judgment across Poland

Jan Pallokat, ARD Warsaw, 10.10.2021 · 23:05

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