Opposition calls on Polish gov’t to quit, ruling party rallies behind PM
PR dla Zagranicy
An opposition leader on Thursday called on Poland’s conservative government to quit, accusing it of tolerating “hate speech” during an Independence Day march.
PO leader Grzegorz Schetyna. Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski
Grzegorz Schetyna, head of the Civic Platform (PO), Poland’s biggest opposition party, told reporters that if the government did not resign, his grouping together with the opposition Nowoczesna (Modern) and the Polish People’s Party (PSL) would next week motion for a “constructive vote of no-confidence” in the Cabinet.
Any bid to unseat the Law and Justice (PiS) government led by Prime Minister Beata Szydło, which this week marked the mid point of its term in office, is doomed to fail because her party has a majority in parliament.
Schetyna told reporters on Thursday that Szydło's response to "the disgraceful incidents we saw on November 11" was a "lack of reaction."
But Law and Justice spokeswoman Beata Mazurek said: "Of course we will defend the government of Prime Minister Beata Szydło and we will reject the motion for a constructive vote of no-confidence."
She described Schetyna’s press conference as "disgusting and disgraceful."
Some 60,000 people took part in an Independence Day march in Warsaw, according to police figures. Participants waved Polish flags, some of them with various patriotic symbols on them, as well as other flags and banners, one including the slogan “Death to enemies of the fatherland.”
Other banners bore slogans such as “Europe will be white or uninhabited” and “A white Europe of fraternal nations.”
Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said on Wednesday that there were some "incidents, slogans and banners” during the march “which should not have taken place,” but added that some reports and reactions abroad were “extremely exaggerated and unjustified.”
"I think the reaction of some media and politicians around the world was exaggerated -- based on fake news rather than facts,” Waszczykowski said.
He added that the Warsaw Independence Day march was "a valuable event” that testified to "the patriotic behaviour of the Polish people, their love of history and their country.”