Rights in Poland: Riots on Independence Day

A march of nationalist groups in Warsaw turns into a battle. More than 300 people are arrested and many injured.

Nationalist groups in Warsaw light Bengal torches on Wednesday in Warsaw Photo: Jedrzej Nowicki / Agencja Gazeta / reuters

WARSAW taz | The nationalist organizers of the Polish “independence march” had announced a peaceful car and motorcycle parade for Wednesday. But it turned into a radical right-wing riot with the police. While thousands of demonstrators threw stones, bottles and fireworks at the police officers, they defended themselves with tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets. Ambulances transported the injured from the “battlefield”, including 35 police officers.

In the blood-red smoke of fireworks and Bengal flares, one of the demonstrators also fired a rocket into an apartment and set it on fire. As the police later announced, the attacker wanted to hit the apartment two floors higher, from whose balcony a widely visible rainbow flag of gays and lesbians fluttered as well as a second one with the red lightning symbol of the feminist movement “women’s strike”.

The march was not only intended to commemorate the end of the First World War in 1918 and the re-establishment of the Polish state. Rather, the nationalist organizers wanted to show their colors politically.

While in the past it was mostly racist and anti-EU slogans that were shouted on the march and read on banners, this year thousands of young men (and a few hundred women) ran after a slogan from the Catholic Church and the national populist government : “Our civilization – our principles”.

Called to renounce

Two years ago, on the 100th anniversary of regaining independence, members of the ruling national populist party Law and Justice (PiS) and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda led the march. This year they referred to the corona exemptions and called for the march to be canceled to protect the health of many people.

Police arrested more than 300 people, including 36 related to crime. Whether Robert Bakiewicz, one of the organizers of the illegal march, will also have to answer in court is still open.

Only a week ago, the pro-government postil “Sieci” celebrated him as a hero on its front page “Let’s defend our churches”. On the cover of the Bakiewicz T-shirt, a hand raised into a fist could be seen clutching a rosary like a brass knuckle. A “feminist horde of left-wing rags” demonstrated behind him. This is how Poland’s rights like to refer to those Polish women who have been protesting for weeks against a ruling by the Constitutional Court aimed at introducing an almost total ban on abortion in Poland.

When bishops and priests profusely thanked the national populists for the abortion ruling from the PiS, the PiS government and the Constitutional Court controlled by the PiS, some women strike demonstrators stormed 22 churches and explained to priests and believers what they were about during the service went. Other protesters sprayed women’s emergency numbers and the red lightning bolt across Poland – the symbol of the women’s strike “Attention! High voltage! ”- on the walls of houses, including the facades of around 70 churches.

Vigilante founded

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the party leader of the national populists and recently also vice premier, turned the few cases into “attacks on the churches” and an “attack on Poland”. He publicly called for the protection of Catholic churches across the country. Thereupon Bakiewicz and his followers founded the “National Vigilante Defense”, which now has tens of thousands of members and is ready to defend Poland’s churches all over the country against “feminists and barbarians”.

However, the women, who in the past few days only met “spontaneously” and five for a “walk” in accordance with the Corona exception rules, had imposed a “quarantine from nationalism” for Independence Day and asked them to be at home that day to stay. If you wanted, you could clean the internet of nationalist and neo-fascist entries on Independence Day.

Most of the demonstrators in the last few days stuck to it. It was thus possible to avoid a clash between the two groups and further excesses by the nationalists. Poland’s Catholic Church, however, will not get rid of the shouting “defenders of the fatherland, God and honor” in front of the church entrances anytime soon.

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Why the Poles take to the streets

Dhe Poles are essentially a “revolutionary nation”, wrote the Warsaw political scientist Piotr Buras years ago when the whole of Europe was sailing in calmer waters. He was right. Germany’s large eastern neighbor is doing justice to this reputation. According to the police, a protest movement has hit four hundred cities and towns with demonstrations and traffic blockades since the end of October. The trigger was a ruling by the Constitutional Court, which was largely made up of judges close to the government. It overturned the 1993 “abortion compromise”.

Gerhard Gnauck

Gerhard Gnauck

Political correspondent for Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania based in Warsaw.

Although this legal regulation prohibited abortion, it provided for three exceptions: in the case of rape, in the event of danger to the mother’s life and in the case of severe deformities of the embryo. Now the court has also – to the applause of the ruling party PiS and the Catholic Church – declared the exception rule for deformities to be unconstitutional. This has resulted in the largest anti-government protests since 1989. According to surveys, the national conservative PiS (“Law and Justice”) lost a quarter of its supporters overnight.

Even more unusual was that in Poland, which is almost ninety percent Catholic, at the beginning of the protests, dozens of churches were smeared and church services disrupted – young demonstrators sat down with posters in front of the altar. Days later, twenty-seven priests, including several Dominicans, wrote an appeal to the nation and, unspoken, to the PiS: “In the name of the gospel, we should immediately stop using religion for political ends and give up the belief that legal solutions can be found can permanently change the sensitivity of conscience, which is our concern when we preach the gospel. “

Will blood flow now?

Sister Małgorzata Chmielewska, the most famous Catholic church woman, also joined the chorus of critics, which politicians from the PiS camp have also joined. She was against abortion, but “you can’t force anyone to be heroic,” said the sister. What is meant by this now common phrase: The legislature should not oblige anyone to carry a child diagnosed as severely disabled. Chmielewska runs ten shelters for the homeless and has adopted a disabled boy herself.

According to the liberal Gazeta Wyborcza, PiS boss Jarosław Kaczyński is said to have insisted that the police crack down on the many unannounced protests; Poland’s police chief Jarosław Szymczyk apparently initially refused. The protest movement, called “revolution” by its coordinators, immediately mobilized opposing forces on the street. Today, Wednesday, Poland celebrates the anniversary of independence in 1918. Every year, this is the occasion for the largest nationwide parade of the political right. Although the authorities have banned the move this time because of the pandemic, it should now take place as a car parade. After the attacks on churches, his chief organizer began to form a “national” vigilante group. As a fire intensifier, he threw in the debate that the “German Antifa” had entered and was behind some attacks on churches. However, the Polish authorities see no signs of this.

Don’t force heroism: that is also the leitmotif of the song “Sorry, Poland” composed in 2012 by rock singer Maria Peszek. In it the singer hopes that Poland will not force her, like so many ancestors, to sacrifice her blood in the fight for freedom and the fatherland. Now the song can be heard on the evening protest marches against the abortion sentence. Peszek feels, she said now, a “holy anger” among the demonstrators who are critical of the church and the government. She sees no tragedy in the massive use of vulgar, aggressive language against the ruling party: “What are these words against the centuries of persecution of women?” . The fact that the anger of women is now discharging has the effect of a catharsis.

Will blood flow now? The Upper Silesian high school student Karol Krupiak warns in a rap song that has become the movement’s anthem within days: “You use gas / then we put a bomb / with a fast train / we declare war on you.” The police have tear gas so far mainly used to ward off right-wing counter-demonstrators. But the fear that the spiral of escalation will become uncontrollable is great and justified.

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Poland: Protests Against Abortion Ban Expand – Politics

Hundreds of thousands of Poles protested on Friday against the de facto abortion ban imposed on October 22nd. Tens of thousands of people took part in three protest marches in Warsaw alone. “Morawiecki – piss off!” Shouted organizers of the All-Poland women’s strike in front of the office of the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Thousands of people later set off to the mass rally near the Kulturpalast in the city center, accompanied by techno music and swaths of noise underlined with red light.

There were also protests in Poznan, Krakow, Gdansk and hundreds of other Polish cities. The government had thousands of police officers and According to video recordings made by the opposition MP Michał Szczerba also ordered soldiers to Warsaw. According to Szczerba, it was the first time since martial law was imposed at the end of 1981. Since the beginning of October, Poland’s security bloc, including the Ministry of Defense, has been under the control of Jarosław Kaczyński, who has joined the government as Vice-Prime Minister.

The demonstrations, which have been going on for a week, are by far the largest protests since the PiS government took office at the end of 2015. And, unlike previous protests against the government’s actions against independent courts, they encompass the whole country, even small towns and previous strongholds of the government . On Wednesday, an estimated 430,000 people protested in 410 locations, said Poland’s police chief General Jarosław Szymczak on the radio. It was initially unclear whether this number was exceeded on Friday. Women’s strike leader Marta Lempart spoke of over 100,000 demonstrators in Warsaw alone. Tens of thousands of demonstrators made their way to the private home of Kaczyński in the north of the capital after the central rally. Ultranationalists and hardcore soccer fans tried in several places to attack the protest marches; police used tear gas several times and arrested dozens of attackers.

“Chaos” prevails in the executive, reports a government-affiliated newspaper

The protests have long gone beyond demands for a liberal abortion law, the “women’s strike” also calls for the resignation of the government and the President of the Constitutional Court as well as independent courts. The women are supported by other opponents of the government. On Wednesday, for example, farmers joined the protesting women in Warsaw. On Friday afternoon, truck drivers wanted to block the streets for an hour in many places in Poland in solidarity with the women. “Chaos” prevails in the government camp, the PiS, surprised by the magnitude of the protests, has “no idea what to do,” summed up the pro-government daily Republic.

Kaczyński had already insulted protesters on Tuesday as nihilists and criminals who wanted to destroy Poland. Kaczyński called on “all members of the PiS and those who support us” to protect Poland from the alleged attacks on the country and especially on Catholic churches. As a result, there were attacks by ultra-nationalists in previous protests.

Opposition politicians, who are also “Russian agents”, also received the predicate of criminal from Kaczyński. Justice Minister-General Prosecutor Zbigniew Ziobro had all Polish prosecutors write on Wednesday: Organization and call to the – because of controversial corona assembly bans – allegedly “illegal demonstrations” as endangering the life or health of others according to Article 165 of the Criminal Code – are to be prosecuted up to eight years in prison. The government-controlled television broadcaster TVP ignored the protests or defamed their leaders. Education and Science Minister Przemysław Czarnek threatened universities that allow students to take part in protests by cutting research funds. But instead of smaller, the protests have only got bigger. And the largest opposition party KO and around 1000 lawyers want to assist arrested women free of charge.

Legal experts question the legitimacy of the judgment of the Constitutional Court

Analysts and even members of the government camp are puzzling over what prompted Kaczyński to let the constitutional court he controls issue a ban on abortion – and to attract the foreseeable anger of Polish women. According to unanimous polls, a large majority of the population is against an abortion ban – and supports the protests. According to the opinion research institute Kantar, approval for the PiS and its coalition partners has fallen from 43.6 percent in the 2019 parliamentary election to just 26 percent.

Unlike Kaczyński, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda were more cautious. Duda announced a bill that would allow abortions under certain circumstances. The judgment of the Constitutional Court of October 22nd, of course, places narrow limits on this possible law. A future government or independent courts could later rate the judgment of October 22nd as “nonexistent”, as leading lawyers are already doing today. Because three lawyers close to the party were involved in the verdict, who from the end of 2015 unlawfully installed the PiS instead of three constitutional judges elected under the previous government in accordance with the law: their participation renders every procedure legally invalid, argue a number of experts. The respected judges’ association Iustitia called on Wednesday for the dissolution of the existing, widely discredited constitutional court and a comprehensive reorganization of the party-controlled judiciary. The government, meanwhile, is said to be planning to return to a shutdown that would allow Poles to leave their homes only for shopping or work.

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Poles rebel against the government: Quit in Warsaw

Only the tightening of the abortion law by the Constitutional Court enraged the Poles. Then new corona restrictions were added.

Nocturnal protest in Krakow against the tightening of abortion law in Poland Photo: reuters / Jakub Wlodek

WARSAW taz | Ambulances rush through Warsaw with deafening sirens. “Tomorrow we’ll be in there,” a sprightly old Polish woman exclaims and walks towards waiting passers-by at the zebra crossing. “Heart attack, stroke, corona – it doesn’t matter! The hospitals are already full. No more space for us! ”She calls out. But only a young man with a bald head and tattoos on his neck reacts. He briefly pulls his face mask on his chin and yells with a bright red face: “Get out of here! Go home! You have no business being on the street! ”The old woman holds out her finger.

On Friday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki declared all of Poland a high-risk zone. Children should only go to school up to third grade, restaurants and pubs are closed, weddings are prohibited, and people over 70 are no longer allowed to leave the house. Not only for them, but also for many others, the prohibitions and restrictions are almost unbearable. Anger and aggression increase.

“Fuck off!” Shouted Metro passengers at the police officers, who demand identification documents from anyone who does not wear the face mask properly. At the exit of the Heiligkreuz station, controls are particularly tight. Fines and criminal charges are hailing. A young woman with long blond hair, who pulled the mask over her nose too late, angrily rummages for her identification papers.

She points out the homeless man on a park bench to the police: “Why don’t you take care of him? Where is his mask? Oh, he doesn’t have any? Can you see the festering wound on his leg and the puddle of urine under the bench? ”But the police remained unmoved. One says: “The city police take care of the bums. We are subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior. “

Nightly demos in front of Kaczyński’s residence

Other Metro passengers who have gathered around the young woman begin to grumble loudly. All wear the prescribed masks. One of them yells: “Take the man away!” More and more agree: “Take the man away!” And push the policemen to the bank with the homeless patient as a closed crowd. Then the crowd strives apart again. Everyone goes his own way.

At night, the anger against the national populists who have been in power since 2015 from the Law and Justice Party (PiS) breaks out even more violently. Despite the ban on Corona demonstrations – only gatherings of five people are allowed – tens of thousands of demonstrators march in front of the houses of party leader Jarosław Kaczyński from the Law and Justice Party (PiS) and Prime Minister Morawiecki, as well as the PiS headquarters.

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court controlled by the PiS declared a paragraph of the Family Planning Act of 1993 to be unconstitutional, thereby further tightening Poland’s already very restrictive abortion law.

In the event of a severely deformed fetus, Polish women will no longer be able to decide for themselves whether to carry the pregnancy to term. You have to. The “dignity of the unborn child” should be set higher than the “psychological comfort” of a woman, argued the applicant from the PiS.

Corona hospital in the national stadium

On Friday there was a new Corona record in Poland with almost 16,000 new infections. And just one day later, Morawiecki announced the new bans: children up to third grade should go to school, everyone else should study online, people over 70 must stay at home, all restaurants and pubs are closed, weddings are prohibited, etc.

On state television, the former public broadcasting service, there were reports of success like from the era of real socialism. President Andrzej Duda hurried through the new field hospital in the national stadium, his chest swollen with pride, past dozens of ancient beds and musty mattresses.

When Duda reported on Twitter that he had tested Corona-positive, the ridicule was not long in coming: many Poles wished him “a good recovery in the national stadium”.

The architect Maria N. has a burning grave candle in her hand. She wants to park them in front of Kaczyński’s house. She slowly goes “for a walk” with her friends at Invalidenplatz in Zoliborz – this is still allowed in Corona times. “How can he do this to us? He has no family, no children. But he delivers us to hell. With what right?

Kaczyński incapacitates Poland’s women

In the past, Kaczyński did not want to tackle the sensitive issue of abortion again, but now the application of a PiS hardliner to the Constitutional Court has passed him. Hardly anyone in Poland doubts that it was he who pressed the President of the Constitutional Court to bring the hearing forward.

“The candle is for my child,” says Maria N. “I lost it. Nature decided for me. But I had to decide whether I should have the child or not. “

Her friend Zuzanna K. distributes leaflets – also to the police officers who cordon off a large area of ​​Kaczyński’s house. You can see a gynecological chair, a woman’s legs and, instead of the doctor, Kaczyński. He says: “You have nothing more to say about birth issues.” Zuzanna K. nods: “We have her back in Poland – torture!”

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Abortion law in Poland: even more restrictive

The Constitutional Court is overturning the option of terminating a pregnancy in the event of a terminally ill fetus.

Women protest against the imposition of further restrictions on abortion rights in Szczecin Photo: Agencja Gazeta / reuters

WARSAW taz | The protest of tens of thousands of Polish women could not prevent it: On Thursday the Polish constitutional court tightened the already extremely restrictive abortion law in Poland. Almost a year ago, a group of 119 national populist and nationalist MPs applied for a review of the 1993 Family Planning Act for constitutionality.

Up until now, abortions have been legal in Poland if the mother’s life and limb was threatened, the fetus was seriously damaged, the infant would be terminally ill or barely viable, or the pregnancy was due to rape or inbreeding. Last year, Poland had just 1,100 legal abortions from a population of 38 million, most of them due to the medical indication of a severely damaged fetus.

In the future, Polish women will no longer have the right to make a decision of their own if they are diagnosed with “missing brain” or “open backbone” in their baby while they are still growing in their wombs.

The mostly male judges agreed with the mostly male applicants that the women concerned could be expected to give birth to these severely disabled children. The right to life is above the “psychological comfort” of women.

Set penalties

The majority of the constitutional judges – 13 out of 15 – agreed with the applicants that the Family Planning Act of 1993 was about the “legalization of eugenic practices on unborn children”. With this law “these children”, ie the fetuses, “the recognition of the protection of human dignity” will be taken away.

After this ruling by the Constitutional Court, the legislature must reformulate this passage of the Family Planning Act and, in particular, define the punishments for women who oppose the forced birth and illegally have an abortion carried out.

Poland’s parliament will also have to decide whether doctors will make themselves liable to prosecution in future if they tell expectant mothers that their child will be severely disabled or unable to survive. Since 2015, however, the national populists of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) and nationalists have had an absolute majority there.

The dispute over the very restrictive abortion law has been dragging on for years. According to surveys, most Poles do not want the abortion law to be tightened. Nevertheless, Catholic fundamentalists repeatedly exerted massive pressure on the MPs.

Appointment agreed

The PiS party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski is primarily interested in exploiting the issue. Many political observers in Poland assume that he, with his “social discovery”, the chairman of the Polish constitutional court Julia Przylebska, arranged the date for the negotiation of the abortion law.

Because his failure in the current political situation is only too clear: The Covid-19 numbers are growing explosively without the government having developed a strategy for the second corona wave.

More important for the PiS in the summer were the fight against sexual minorities (LGBT), the presidential elections, internal party quarrels and the renewed position against the EU. According to the government critics, the calculation is that the verdict of the constitutional judges, all but one of whom were appointed by the PiS majority in parliament, will cause a great sensation and thus distract from the failure of Kaczynski and the PiS government.

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Poland: court imposes de facto ban on abortion – politics

Poland’s constitutional court, which is controlled by the national populist ruling party PiS, has declared the current abortion law to be unconstitutional in its central point. The result is a de facto complete ban on abortion in the 38 million-inhabitant country.

While abortion was legal and easily accessible under communism, the influential Catholic Church enforced a far-reaching ban after the end of the Eastern Bloc: a law of 1993 only allowed abortion after rape, if the mother’s life was at risk and if the fetus was seriously damaged . The last criterion applied to almost all of the 1100 legal abortions in Poland in 2019 – and has now been declared illegal by the Constitutional Court.

Lots of underground abortions

The decision of the legally controversial constitutional judge should in practice result in an almost complete ban on legal abortions – but it does not end abortions. “There were abortions, they are and they will be passed on,” commented Marta Lempart from the organization “Strike of Women”, which advocates a more liberal abortion law, on the court ruling. Women’s rights activists estimate the number of abortions by Polish women at up to 150,000 annually. These take place underground, at foreign clinics or at home with the help of drugs that cause the fetus to pass away.

The ruling by the Constitutional Court followed an application by 119 members of parliament from the governing coalition and the right-wing nationalist confederation. Any abortion violates the right to life, argued the parliamentarians and Catholic activists allied with them. The Legal Service of the Polish Parliament, also controlled by the PiS, had argued that the unborn child’s right to life was higher than that of a woman to make a self-determined decision about an abortion.

The “doppelgangers”

The Constitutional Court followed this line – a decision that, according to observers, was made less by the judges themselves than by PiS party leader Jarosław Kaczyński. The newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza found out in 2019 that the President of the Constitutional Court Julia Przylębska meets regularly with Kaczyński and other heads of government.

Other constitutional judges – such as the former PiS parliamentarians Stanisław Piotrowicz and Krystyna Pawlowicz who were involved in the dismantling of the rule of law – are also not considered independent. Thursday’s ruling was drafted by Justyn Piskorski – one of three lawyers whom the PiS illegally hoisted into office at the end of 2015, instead of a constitutional judge elected in 2015 under the previous government. That is why the three are called “doppelgangers” in Poland.

Many lawyers – including Poland’s commissioner for civil rights – consider proceedings in which one of the so-called doppelgangers is involved to be invalid. This should also apply to the present judgment, which was passed by a majority of the 15 constitutional judges. It is likely to be challenged in European courts.

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Poland between the Virus and choice: “The PiS is harmful”

“In 1989 when the communism went down, I was one of the beneficiaries.” The entrepreneur Wojciech has a good laugh. He sits with his wife, Marie, who comes from Germany, in front of his house on the outskirts of Krakow, and looking in the large garden. The house stands on an ancient piece of Land that already belonged to Wojciechs family. Those who live this way, to fear the pandemic barely. Wojciech power to create rather his hip surgery, he has a new joint use.

Gerhard Gnauck

Political correspondent for Poland, the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, based in Warsaw.

The Pole is Born in 1963, and when communism went under, he was able to start. At the time, he was studying sociology. He took advantage of the in Western Europe, the newly-created scholarships for citizens of the former Eastern bloc – “I have to thank the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to” – and completed a Business course in Scotland. But before he had always acted with anything or in West Germany worked seasonally.

Working abroad was formative

“Three things have shaped me,” says Wojciech, “my parents’ house, the boy scouts and working abroad.” With two fellow students he founded later a company that operates today in three divisions: buying and refurbished real estate (that is, distributes Wojciechs domain), and Xerox waits-copy devices, and runs a small rehab clinic. Volunteer Wojciech in Krakow in ZNAK (“The sign”) is active, the largest Catholic book publishing company in the country.

Private has done, from 1989, a lot. At that time, Wojciech got to know one of the few Germans at that time in Poland, studied, Marie von Spee and the two married. Today, her four children are studying in Krakow, Cologne, Bern and Maastricht. The fifth child is killed in an accident recently deadly.

Got to the turn of the Polish businessman Wojciech and his German wife, Marie, to know:

Wojciech has, the economy idea. The more sceptical he looks at the economic policies of the government and the President in Poland. Not because of the bureaucracy, which, unfortunately, contained no government (“A construction project through fills today, 20 times more Files than 20 years ago.”). But because of the growing state involvement in the economy. Thus, the state also depends on strong lobby groups, such as in Poland, is very important for coal production and power generation. And the completed Transfer of large state-owned banks reduces competition in the financial sector.

“Ruling have sown discord”

A allegation: “The Ruling would have been able to take advantage of the good international economic activity since 2015, in order to create reserves. We would have used in the Corona-crisis urgently.“ Wojciech distrusted the populism of the party, PiS.

The worst thing that could have done this Ruling, however, was something else: “you have sown as no one since 1989, the discord in the people. You have made your contempt for dissenters on open Display.“ Who have broken into government offices law and rules, which must answer for it. “Even before an independent court.” For example, the Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin, who had in may, despite the pandemic, and against the clear will of the people, the presidential elections have want by press – and for the preparations of millions in the Sand.

If someone is to be convicted, then he had to jail, even if he had high posts. For Wojciech, there is no doubt: “The PiS is harmful to my country. Therefore, I want the President of Duda loses the election. If he loses, it could also lead to the defeat of PiS in the parliamentary elections in 2023.“

For the first time was in Poland, the absentee ballot request – due to the pandemic; Wojciech and Marie have already submitted their vote by Post.

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Poland between the Corona and the election: A divided country

“Poland is a society in decline,” says Janusz. “The government party and the President speak loudly of the national “wspólnota” (community), but our society is not a community any more. It is deeply divided.“ Janusz should know: As a sociologist, he has an eye for what holds together a country in the Innermost or not. On the upcoming presidential election, he looks with great concern. “For the first Time since 1989, many citizens have doubts as to whether the ruling party would accept an electoral defeat, and in fact, the Power to give.”

Gerhard Gnauck

Political correspondent for Poland, the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, based in Warsaw.

The sociologist can imagine that the government, should be the first ballot on Sunday for you unpleasant, would exclaim, under the pretext of the pandemic, the disaster state. Then elections could be – in this case, the second ballot – in accordance with the Constitution indefinitely postponed. Sooner or later, the political emotions could then search on the road your valve.

Janusz and his wife Ela of life in Lublin, the largest city in Poland East of the Vistula river. We meet in the well-preserved old town, in front of the building of the Krontribunals, since the 16th century. Century, the Supreme court was. Poland’s kings were liberal, and gave the nobility rights and freedoms. In addition, the city is known for here in 1918, the Catholic University of Lublin was founded. It has survived as the only private University in the entire Eastern bloc, Communist rule, and still exists today. High school teachers today, however, is not crisis-proof profession; Janusz has interpreted for German companies. A secure Job Ela has all the same: she is a German teacher. Poland is in the world, the country that, in percentage terms, most people learn English. Although English has replaced, after 1989, Russian as the first foreign language in schools, but the German claimed then, as now, on the second place.

The sociologist Janusz and his wife Ela in front of the former Krontribunal of Poland in Lublin

Growing doubt on Corona-measures

Janusz is somewhat continued to be satisfied with how the government determined at the beginning of the Corona-measures. But since then the doubts have grown. Also to President Andrzej Duda: He had shown since 2015 is hardly ever that he was really about the parties. Janusz calls him “want to respect the Instrument in the hands of the government party that wants to establish a belief state and the rule of law, miss.” The real ruler was the PiS Chairman Jarosław Kaczyński, however, no government office holding. “In other words: He switches and managed behind-the-Scenes, and bears zero responsibility for the consequences.” Ela for the latest Corona-the Situation is very worrying: “Poland has done much less testing than Germany, and yet we now have more infections per day than you are.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, she takes part with her mother at a Catholic Sunday worship service via Video. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of municipalities in the country now offer regularly a Transmission.

At least Janusz already knows whom he will choose on Sunday: the independent, Catholic, but at the same time, Church-critical journalist Szymon Hołownia. “Intelligent and eloquent. He is a new starters in the policy, and no party has, is in the reputation that the parties enjoy in Poland, rather an advantage.“ Hołownia have understanding for environmental issues, which consider the government party of the “left-spinning”, says Janusz.

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When a sociologist comes to the largest opposition party, the liberal civic platform, he can be as angry as with the PiS. “The platform has ruled under Donald Tusk for almost eight years,” he says bitterly. “Their whole policy was basically focused only on it, as many of the EU-to bring funds into the country. A social policy they had. Instead, it has damaged large parts of the society through the use of precarious work or payment. Such people like me, who would have to actually be your ordinary voters, it has quenched it. And she has learned from her mistakes. If in Germany, a party loses an election, then it is pulled relentlessly balance sheet, or?“

Goodbye, Janusz brings far: “globalization has destroyed capitalism. Because she has destroyed the local markets. It has come into the world, as it has been said of the great historian and civil rights activist, Karol Modzelewski, after 1989, ahead of An unrestrained liberalism will lead in the end to populism.“ Janusz laughs bitterly: “There is this saying: Who 20 is not a socialist is, the 60 is a pig. I am amazed that With the age I’m going left.“

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Dudas Approval ratings to drop before the election

Es should have a home game be. Andrzej Duda, Poland’s President, and in the old capital and Royal city of Krakow was born, comes to his home, where shortly before the election on Sunday, a last great mass meeting to be held. The candidate knows how to talk to the people: five years Ago, he had won after a slog through almost all of the 314 Polish counties with only 43 years, surprising the choice.

Gerhard Gnauck

Political correspondent for Poland, the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, based in Warsaw.

Duda so, the incumbent, comes in the magnificent medieval “Rynek” in Krakow, the most beautiful and the largest market square in Poland. But a few minutes before the start of the event on Sunday afternoon, there is a heavy downpour. First of all, Duda sits staff in the regional crisis and talks over the radio, coils breathlessly down the fire and even military units were ready to help the Victims of the tragic Floods. Finally, he says: “It was promised that today I come to the marketplace.” Therefore, he’ll be right there.

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Poland will elect a new president on June 28

DThe presidential election in Poland, which was canceled at short notice in May, will now take place on June 28. This date announced the parliamentary chairman Elzbieta Witek on Wednesday. Incumbent Andrzej Duda, who comes from the ranks of the national conservative governing party PiS, leads in current opinion polls. In second place is the candidate of the largest opposition coalition coalition (KO), the Mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski. Since the KO changed its top candidate after the postponement of the election date, Trzaskowski still has to collect 100,000 supporters’ signatures before he can officially start. He has seven days to do this.

There had been a long argument about the election date. The ballot box was originally scheduled for May 10. The opposition called for relocation, as an election campaign was not possible due to the corona pandemic. The PiS stuck to the date for a long time and wanted to organize the election as a pure postal vote. A necessary change in the right to vote failed due to resistance from within the ranks. Finally the appointment was canceled.

On Tuesday, the parliament passed a new version of the right to vote. It provides that voters can vote both in polling stations and by letter. To win the election, a candidate must get more than 50 percent of the vote in the first ballot on June 28. If none receives as many votes, a runoff election will take place on July 12.

In Poland, the president’s term of office is five years. The head of state not only represents the country externally. The president also has an influence on foreign policy, he appoints the prime minister and the cabinet and is the commander-in-chief of the Polish armed forces in the event of war.

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