Donald Tusk has been heavily criticized for a video he published on Thursday via his social media channels, in which he attacked the Polish government for its actions concerning money from the EU Recovery Fund.
In the footage, addressed to Polish citizens, he holds up a €50 note before showing a large stack of notes worth €18 million. Tusk then proceeds to explain that 3,222 such stacks are equal to the sum which Poland should receive from the EU Recovery Fund — €58 billion.
“The only reason why you cannot receive this money, is the Law and Justice government,” Tusk claims. “It is their incomprehensible opposition,” he added, suggesting that government leaders had claimed Poland should perhaps give up the money and withdraw from the fund.
“Yes, ladies and gentlemen. This is incomprehensible. These are not patriots — they’re idiots,” Tusk concluded.
It has been viewed more than 600,000 times on Twitter and attracted almost 5,000 retweets at the time of writing.
Polish politicians immediately responded to Tusk’s video, highlighting that his party, Civic Platform (PO), failed to vote for the recovery funds in the Polish Parliament.
“It is about those who did not vote in favor of the Recovery Fund?” Law and Justice (PiS) deputy spokesman Radosław Fogiel pointed out, and attached a screenshot of a vote in the Polish parliament in which 127 PO MPs abstained.
Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk compared the increases of budget income during PiS and PO terms.
“The annual growth of budget income during the PiS government would basically fill up that stadium. Poles are able to use social programs which come from those funds. Meanwhile, during the PO government, this income growth, stolen by the VAT mafia, would not even fill up a third of a kids’ sports ground,” he wrote in response.
Solidarity Poland MEP Patryk Jaki stressed that PO and Tusk were doing everything for the pro-German political opposition to return to power in Poland.
“1. His party voted in favor of suspending those funds and have been encouraging Germans and the EU to tire out Poles for so long until the pro-German option returns to power. Shameless,” Jaki wrote.
2. Add the fees and costs of climate policy and Mr. Tusk will have to contribute from his own pocket,” he added.
All EU member states were required to prepare their National Recovery Plans to receive funds from the EU Recovery Fund. Poland had presented its plan to the European Commission, but so far it has not been approved. Poland has around €76 billion at its disposal from the 2021-2027 coherence policy.
Poland has applied for €23.9 billion in grants and €11.5 billion in loans to support its economy as part of the National Recovery Plan (KPO).
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen had put forward a condition at the end of October 2021 that a motion to remove the Supreme Court Disciplinary Chamber had to appear in the Polish KPO.
In early February 2022, President Andrzej Duda had sent a draft bill of amendments to the Supreme Court bill to the Polish parliament. It entailed the liquidation of the Disciplinary Chamber and the introduction of a Professional Responsibility Chamber.