Kaczyński about Szydło: she paid the price for representing a Catholic state
I think that in the case Beata Szydło it was a repulsive reflex to a person whose set of values is different than that of most current MEPs - the chairman of the Polish ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) Jarosław Kaczyński said, commenting on the second vote lost by Beata Szydło in the European Parliament. Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that he considered this as a violation of a long-standing consensus.
Law and Justice MEP Beata Szydło on Monday was not chosen for the second time in Strasbourg to become the head of the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. With only 19 MEPs in favour of her nomination, 34 against and 2 abstentions, Szydło ended up with even worse result than in last week's vote, when the proportions were 21 to 27.
Apologies from Merkel
PiS chairman Jarosław Kaczyński commented on Beata Szydło's second lost vote in the European Parliament in an interview for the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
"It came as a surprise not only to us, because we had made certain arrangements on the highest levels. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki informed me that, right after the vote, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called him to apologise, express shock and surprise after what had happened. She reassured that all members of the EPP voted in Szydło's favour," he said.
He added, nevertheless, that the outcome was different from the arrangement. "There's a very serious disorganisation in the European Union and that's a very ill phenomenon, clearly connected to a harsh offensive by the left-wing. This broadly-understood left-wing is an extreme left-wing, with no exceptions," he stressed.
"Already after the vote, a Romanian representative, a liberal, said that someone else from the ECR party could be appointed for this posting, as long as they abide by the principles. The prime minister (Szydło) addressed this perfectly when she said that she stood by the core principles of the EU, and at the same time representing values uniting Poland, thanks to which she received such a fine result in the European elections - over 500.000 votes," Kaczyński said.
In his opinion, two losses by Beata Szydło were "a repulsive reflex to a person whose set of values is different than that of most current MEPs, from both extreme-left and liberal-left formations". "It looks exactly like Rocco Buttiglione's case, who years ago was Italy's candidate for EU commissioner. Before the vote, he admitted to holding conservative, Christian beliefs, which led to him not getting the job," said PiS chairman.
Kaczyński also said that if, at the moment, deals and agreements are not respected, then on one hand it's "a question of certain anger within the European Union, and on the other, a question of principles".
"When it comes to principles, Poland stands in a very different position than many other European countries. Beata Szydło simply paid the price for representing a Catholic state and holding Christian values," said Law and Justice chairman.
"We're hoping that this situation, this crisis of values, will pass but it will require effort from representatives of both bigger, more powerful EU states, as well as of those smaller ones," he said.
Impact on von der Leyen
Asked if the rejection of Beata Szydło's candidacy would impact the ECR's decision regarding Ursula von der Leyen's bid to head the European Commission, Kaczyński said that "it obviously can". "The final decision, however, will be made by the MEPs, as there's no tight voting discipline in this case. What our suggestions will be in this case has not been decided yet," he said.
"Bad news for the EU"
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki commented on the vote over Szydło at a press conference in Ozorków (Łódź voivodeship). According to him, a consensus has been violated.
"It's very bad news for the whole European Parliament, for the European Union. I treat this as a certain violation of a long-standing consensus. We strongly disapprove of such actions, behaviour, not respecting agreements, not sticking to deals," Polish PM said.
Morawiecki underscored that the European People's Party, in line with the promises made, voted in favour of Szydło. "Unfortunately, other parties did not stick to this rule, that binding rule of the European Parliament," Morawiecki said.
"We'll carry on"
The head of Law and Justice parliamentary club Ryszard Terlecki also commented on Beata Szydło's loss. "We've made another attempt. Our representatives tried to secure support for this candidacy. We've failed. This idea to get revenge for Timmermans is still present and unfortunately brings such effects," he said. We'll carry on with our work," he reassured.
Asked if that meant PiS proposing Szydło's candidacy for the third time, he replied: "No, no. I've said no such thing. I'm only saying that we will work for the benefit of our candidates for various EU positions".
Frans Timmermans was a candidate for the EU Commission chief. Law and Justice, among others, opposed his candidacy. In the end, German Christian-democrat Ursula von der Leyen has been nominated to head the EU executive.
"Clearly, some of those who took part in the vote have no sympathy towards us. Obviously, we're aware of that. We also don't have especially fond feelings for them. This is a difficult and tough political game," Terlecki went on.
When asked who in particular PiS has no sympathy for, he referred the question to PiS MEPs.
Asked why they proposed Beata Szydło again after she had lost once already, he replied: "This is a question of our policy and the prestige of our state. This was a message saying that we will firmly stand by our postulates and our candidates".
"So far, we didn't make it. We'll see what the future brings," he added.
Autor: gf / Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP