Civic Platform leader Donald Tusk participated in the “in defense of the TVN television” protests in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw on Sunday. Sadly for him, the event was a turn-out failure, with opposition politicians falling over themselves to accuse the Polish administration of acting like a dictatorship intent on destroying the last remaining ‘independent’ television station, TVN.
It was Tusk himself however who took his speech a step further and declared that “not even a trace of this government will remain.” Ending his speech with a quote from one of Czesław Miłosz’s poems, Who You Hurt, Tusk proclaimed: “Winter dawn would be better for you. And the rope and the branch bent under the weight.”
The former Polish prime minister clarified for the avoidance of doubt that he was directing his remarks at the “palace’s occupant and his masters.” With the use of such inflammatory rhetoric, it had perhaps slipped Tusk’s mind that under his rule a Law and Justice (PiS) politician from Łódź was murdered by a Civic Platform activist.
Despite being the president of the European Council since 2014 — ever since the Law and Justice government was formed in 2015 — Tusk had fought against it ruthlessly both on the European stage and in Poland itself.
Donald Tusk used a quote of Czesław Miłosz’s poem to attack president Duda:
“Winter dawn would be better for you. And the rope and the branch bent under the weight.”
He had desperately tried to directly influence the course of events in Poland several times, such as when in 2016 during anti-government protests in front of the Polish parliament, Tusk made reference to “Polish Decembers” — the December 1970 massacre of Polish shipyard workers by communists; and December 1981 when martial law was imposed in Poland — probably hoping that the protests would have a similar outcome.
At that time, as an important EU official, Tusk could have been the arbiter in deciding the conflict between the Polish government and the opposition. Meanwhile, his main idea was for the government to give up its power to prevent further escalation of the conflict.
Back then, the “coup” had failed but Tusk continued to take aim at the government and President Andrzej Duda, making inflammatory and hostile speeches at any opportunity.
He has frequently tried to accuse the current ruling camp of things that he himself was guilty of during his 7 year-long tenure as prime minister or 5 year-long tenure as European Council president.
An example of this took place during his most recent interview for Onet media outlet, during which he stated that Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński should be added to the list of “traitors of Polish national interests.”
The pretext for this attack was the meeting between the leaders of conservative and right-wing parties of 11 EU countries in Warsaw. One of the participants had been Marine Le Pen, who had told Rzeczpospolita daily in an interview that “Ukraine belonged to Russia’s sphere of influence.”
Tusk said all this despite being well aware that during his tenures in the Polish government and later in the EU, he had permitted the construction of Nord Stream 2, and in doing so handed Putin a tool which is doubly deadly for Ukraine.
Firstly, if gas flows to Western Europe through that pipeline, Russia will most likely stop using pipelines running through Ukraine, which will let Russia use energy blackmail against the country. Secondly, a Russian withdrawal would mean that Ukraine would lose transit fees, which are currently worth about $2 billion per year and are a significant source of income for Ukraine.
Tusk, whom Russian media labeled “Russia’s man in Warsaw,” is accusing others of being Putin’s friend and “traitors to Polish national interests” — this is the pinnacle of hypocrisy.
And now, a few days before Christmas, Tusk is directing his deadly “wishes” towards not only the government, but also anyone who supported both the ruling party and the president.