Social and traditional media in Poland were filled with critical comments following last week’s decision of European Court of Justice (ECJ) Vice-President Rosario Silva de Lauperta to order the suspension of the extraction of lignite for the needs of Poland’s Turów power plant.
Unfortunately, there were also some positive statements about the decision and all of them came from opposition politicians.
The most telling of these comments was the one written by MEP Róża Thun, until recently a Civic Platform representative, but who is now considering joining Szymon Hołownia’s party.
She wrote, “Well done Madame Judge.”
Later, when asked whether the Spanish judge’s decision pleased her, and she responded by saying that it did, because through the decision the EU and its institutions were caring for the environment in Poland.
Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski also decisively supported the ECJ’s ruling on the Turów lignite mine. Interestingly, Trzaskowski does not have time to spare to deal with Warsaw’s issues (for the 12th time this year, the city dumped tons of unfiltered sewage into the Vistula), but he does have enough time to tour Poland and encourage people to join his new political initiative Campus Poland.
During a break at one of his small meeting with supporters, Trzaskowski was asked for a comment on the ECJ’s ruling. He stated that “this is a court verdict and the government must adhere to it, no matter how painful or difficult it would be.”
Trzaskowski showed no doubts about the decision, but he should be aware that if the government decided to adhere to the decision several thousand people would instantly lose their jobs and the whole region would be affected by the negative consequences of the bankruptcy of such an enormous company. Poland would also permanently have to purchase about 4 to 7 percent of its electric energy abroad.
Polish People’s Party (PSL) representative MP Teofil Bartoszewski also commented on the ECJ’s decision in a similar vein in public television. He declared that Poland should execute the court’s ruling. When a journalist pointed out that other EU states question and do not adhere to ECJ verdicts, such as Germany or France, Bartoszewski responded that “what Germany or France can afford to do, we cannot.”