06:25 GMT +324 October 2016
    People hold EU and Polish flags as they gather during a pro-democracy demonstration at the Old Town in Warsaw, Poland January 9, 2016

    EU Parliament Head Accuses Poland of ‘Putinization’, What Does He Mean?

    © REUTERS/ Kacper Pempel
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    European Parliament Chief has repeatedly accused the Polish government of subordinating the interests of the state to those of the winning party, referring to the constitutional crisis in Poland. He specifically termed it the “Putinization of European politics,” but ruled out that his comments represent an interference into the internal affairs.

    “The Polish government considers its [October] election victory a mandate to subordinate the interests of the state to the interests of the winning party,” Schulz told Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, according the paper’s website.

    “That’s democracy carried out in the style of [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin and a dangerous 'Putinization' of European politics,” Schulz added, as quoted by the website.

    The comments come in relation to the constitutional crisis in the country, its worst since 1989, the year of the first elections in its post-war history.

    The Polish Constitutional crisis of 2015 is a series of conflicts following the Polish parliamentary election of October 2015 regarding amendments to the organization of the Polish Constitutional Court. The amendments caused domestic and international criticism.

    Schulz’s comments were echoed by Viviane Reding, former EU Justice Commissioner and current Member of the European Parliament, who also somehow drew a parallel with Russia, saying that the attack on the rule of law always begins with an attack on the Constitutional Court.

    Both politicians ruled out that their comments represented any interference into the internal affairs of a country.

    Earlier in December Poland had demanded an apology from Schulz after he called its judicial changes a ‘coup’.

    "What is happening in Poland has the characteristics of a coup and is dramatic. I am going on the principle that we are going to discuss this in detail this week at the European parliament, or at the latest, during the session in January," he then told Deutschlandfunk radio.

    Schulz's comments sparked an angry response from Warsaw, with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło demanding an apology.

    "These types of comments — and this is not the first time that president Schulz uses such a tone — concerning Poland and Polish affairs, are unacceptable to me," Szydło then said.

    "I am expecting Mr Martin Schulz to not only stop making such comments but also apologize to Poland," she added.

    The political tensions center around efforts by the ruling party to install five judges of its own choosing on the 15-member court, and refusing to recognize judges who were appointed by the previous parliament when the liberal Civic Platform (PO) party was in power.

    It also comes on the heels of legal moves giving Poland's conservative government the power to directly appoint the heads of public broadcasters.

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    constitutional court, constitutional crisis, reform, European Parliament, Viviane Reding, Martin Schulz, Poland
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    • Of course it is a coup, and there should be one as it is a good thing to do these days, right? Just before any moderate opposition rises could someone pick a relevant person of power and influence, trial him or her for terrorism,in court, behead him or her as a matter of provocation so someone from EU can condemn the action and cease any further diplomatic cooperation with Poland?

      Can you see the similarities with another conflict? This is like a virus! People have lost a plot.
    • Thor
      zionists are always mad when they don't get their way
    • karlof1
      Poland's political problem's more similar to what FDR tried to do in 1936 than to anything Putin's done! But then the Outlaw US Empire can't have its vassals criticizing its historical actions even if the analogy is apt.
    • Polana
      'Putinization' means moving to give the governing party more control over courts and media in order to increase their chances of retaining power when the next elections come round. Good description of what PIS have been doing.
    • Blackie
      Fool me once shame on you.
      Fool me twice shame on you!
      Poland must accept reality. They seem to hate Russia but they do not like EU rules, even after signing up in full.
    • Sounds like a change for the better in Poland! shulz is an un-elected leader worse than a dictator he came to power by being handed the position by extremely rich and powerful jews who have usurped the european union!
    • Mitach2002
      I live in the west and would take Mr Putin over any of the weak puppet leaders in the west.
      Leaders in the west are spineless bought and paid for puppets who follow washing tons commands and dictates of the bankers.
    • jas
      “The Polish government considers its [October] election victory a mandate to subordinate the interests of the state to the interests of the winning party,”
      Isn't that "democracy" of the West? Gaddafi correctly characterized it as a variation of dictatorship. The ruling establishment always makes sure its interests dominate, regardless of what political party is in power. But the brokers of that power hide behind a political party, pretending to exercise the will of the people.
    • jas
      Any "Putinization" is an exposure of the failure and treason of current Western leaders as the use of Putin as how leadership should behave.
    • jasin reply toMitach2002(Show commentHide comment)
      Mitach2002, And one of the most crucial differences is that Western leaders don't support their own people.
    • kasivasantha
      To take the name of Mr.Putin one has to be more decent in speech and public behavior.This Mr.Schultz does not have any of these.He lost his mind and that is why he has used such a bad phrase.
    • kookain reply tokasivasantha(Show commentHide comment)
      Forget schultz. He is a German politician of party formerly socialist now as right-wing as merkel's party. He is totally stupid and self-opinionated. When his body temperture sinks to his IQ he will immediatly be frozen to death.
    • michael
      I'm sorry, it's a product of watching tv when younger. The Schultz I think of when I read this guys idiotic comments is Sgt.Shultz from Hogan's Heroes. Maybe he's a relative (of a fictional character!) :) That's all that his comments are worth.
    • michaelin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, I think that it more likely that 'leaders' are pigs at the trough (with apologies to porcine creatures everywhere!) :)
    • Mother Gorilla
      They are already getting along again, Steinmeier will go there!
    • Ivan Buckeye
      Putinization means to act for one's own country without being forced by outsiders. Sucks to be the E.U. and the U.S. because they are hostage to defectors nowadays. No where to go now but down....
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