Mass demonstrations in Poland: ‘We are Europe, we stay’

Mass demonstrations in Poland: 'We are Europe, we stay'

Poland’s highest court ruled last week that EU laws are less important than Polish laws. This means that Poland can in principle ignore European rules.

Tens of thousands of protesters

It sparked protests across the country this weekend. Opposition leader Donald Tusk, the former Polish prime minister, had called for this. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, Warsaw, and many other places. They waved Polish and European flags and shouted: “We are Europe” and “We stay”.

“This is Europe”

And participated in the demonstrations, opposition politicians, activists and artists. During the demonstration in the Polish capital Warsaw, Wanda Trazek-Stawska, a 94-year-old veteran who fought against the Germans during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, spoke. “This is our Europe and no one will take us out,” she told Reuters news agency.

The demonstrations were covered on state television, but reporters said they were “a protest against the Polish constitution”.

Opposition leader Tusk, who was also president of Europe, accuses the ruling party of wanting to take the country out of the European Union. “Poland’s place is in Europe,” Tusk told protesters in Warsaw. “We will win because there are more of us.”

“Polyxite”

He warned of the consequences of the so-called “Polexit” by the Eastern European country and called on the demonstrators to defend “European Poland”.

European Parliamentarian Jeroen Leeners (CDA) explained to RTL Nieuws last week that with the court ruling, Poland is one step closer to exiting the European Union. “Poland is moving further and further away from the EU path. Enough is enough, the Polish government has discredited this statement.”

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The Polish government has been on a collision course with Brussels for some time, due in part to attacks on gays, journalists, and judges.

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