In Poland, more than 100,000 people across the country demonstrated against a controversial decision of the Constitutional Court and for their country to remain in the European Union. Warsaw alone gathered more than 80,000 people on Palace Square. They waved Polish and European flags and shouted: “We live” and “against a controversial decision by the Constitutional Court and their country to remain in the European Union. Warsaw alone gathered over 80,000 people on Castle Square”. They waved Polish and Europe. – Flags and shouted: “We live” and “We are Europe!” There were also protests in Gdansk, Pozna, Szczecin, Kraków and a total of more than 100 cities and municipalities.
The country’s Constitutional Court recently ruled that certain elements of EU law violated the Polish constitution. It gave priority to national law over EU law. The decision is fueling a conflict between the European Union Commission and Warsaw over reform of the Polish judicial system. Former EU Council president and Polish opposition leader Donald Tusk called for the protests. During his appearance before protesters in Warsaw, he said that the national-conservative ruling party PiS was no longer talking to the European Union about his desire to lead the country. “Poland’s place is in Europe,” Tusk said. “We will win because we are more!” Both Tusk and the other speakers were repeatedly interrupted by loud interjections and chants from the counter-demonstration by right-wing national groups.
Polexit: “The same thing can happen here”
Tusk expressed apprehension of protesters like 59-year-old Janusz Kuzynski. “Just as Brexit suddenly became a reality that no one expected, it could happen here too,” Kuzynski said. In Gdansk, former trade union leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of Poland Lech Wasa spoke to protesters. “The people who run the state today are a great misfortune for Poland,” said the former head of the Solidarnosk union. No enemy who ruled Poland has divided the people in the country as much as PiS.
The PiS government has been restructuring the judiciary over the years. Critics accuse him of pressurizing the judges. Due to the reforms, the European Union Commission has already initiated several infringement proceedings against Warsaw and filed suit with the European Court of Justice. The Constitutional Court recently ruled that the Treaty of the European Union was subject to the Polish Constitution. The national-conservative ruling party Law and Justice (PIS) sees its position as confirmed by the fact that EU law does not take precedence over the law of individual member states. PiS also emphasized that the country had no plans to leave the EU, for which the term “Polexit” had already been coined. (APA)
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