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Polish PM returns from EU summit

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 11.03.2017 08:26
Top Polish officials greeted Prime Minister Beata Szydło in Warsaw on Friday as she returned from a “successful” two-day EU summit in Brussels.
Leader of Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party Jarosław Kaczyński and the country's Prime Minister Beata Szydło. PAP/Radek Pietruszka.Leader of Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party Jarosław Kaczyński and the country's Prime Minister Beata Szydło. PAP/Radek Pietruszka.

A major decision of the summit was to re-elect on Thursday former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk as President of the European Council, despite Warsaw's strong push for a different candidate. Tusk was supported by 27 of 28 EU member states.

According to Szydło, Poland was successful.

“We showed that Poland is a fully-fledged member of the European Union,” she said, adding: “We want the bloc to be united, to grow, and we will do everything to make that so.”

The leader of Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party Jarosław Kaczyński said he was proud of Szydło's achievements, adding that she had been put in a difficult situation and defended Poland's interests.

Meanwhile, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told Polish public broadcaster TVP Info that the country's allies were disloyal.

“We have come across, a large dose of disloyalty and fibs, because many days before the summit – I don't want to finger point which countries – but we had assurances that some countries would behave differently,” Waszczykowski told TVP Info.

“We had assurances that they absolutely support our position and accept that a nation state, a member state, has the right to decide who its candidate is,” he added.

Just days ahead of the summit the Law and Justice party officially announced it would not back Tusk in his re-election bid, put forward an alternative candidate and lobbied to postpone the vote.

Waszczykowski also said that while loyalties within the Visegrad Group “disappeared”, the partnership between Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic could continue.

“The areas [of cooperation] are many, but we are not 100 percent united,” Waszczykowski said, according to TVP Info.

Meanwhile Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico said he understood Szydło's explanation of why her government could not back Tusk.

“But on the other hand, logic indicated that, from our region's perspective, it would be a great mistake to lose the European Council president, because if we were [on Thursday] to postpone the vote on the European Council leader then, it is greatly probable, bordering on certain, that the majority would choose someone other than a candidate from our region,” Fico added.

Tusk's next term of office as the European Council President runs from 1 June 2017 until 30 November 2019. (vb)

Source: PAP, IAR

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