Skip to comments.We'd have more power in EU if Germans hadn't 'reduced our population' in WWII, says Polish PM
Posted on 06/21/2007 10:54:10 AM PDT by RWR8189
The Polish PM has stunned European leaders today with an astonishing attack on Germany for starting the Second World War.
In a spectacularly undiplomatic outburst, he said his country was losing out in today's European Union as a direct result of the millions of deaths that followed its invasion by Germany in 1939.
"We are only demanding one thing - that we get back what was taken from us," said Jaroslaw Kaczynski at the opening of the EU summit in Brussels, chaired by German chancellor Angela Merkel.
"If Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66 million."
The issue of population is at the heart of a heated row over voting rights that could wreck Tony Blair's last EU summit.
A proposed new system of sharing out votes rewards countries such as Germany with the biggest numbers - and Poland is angrily demanding more.
Poland's population is 38 million - implying that Mr Kaczynski blames the Germans for the loss of 28 million people.
Mr Kaczynski and his twin brother Lech, Poland's president, are said to be Second World War obsessives, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of their country's sufferings under occupation.
The identical twins, whose father fought in the 1944 Warsaw uprising, have become infamous for their unrestrained comments and dislike of EU integration.
Luxembourg's premier, Jean-Claude Juncker, said they should stop living in the past. "You have to jump into the present," he told FT Deutschland.
"You will not be happy in the long run if you are always looking in the rear-view mirror."
It sets the scene for a rancorous dinner tonight when leaders of the 27 EU states need to thrash out a series of disputes to avoid a crisis.
Mr Blair, notching up his 47th EU summit, told his Cabinet in London that he was prepared to walk away from the table unless his own demands were met in full.
Before flying out, he and Gordon Brown had telephone talks with Mrs Merkel - indicating that Mr Brown is intensely involved in the negotiations.
Mr Blair came under fire for trying to water down the EU's "son of constitution" treaty. Mr Juncker a veteran federalist, fumed: "We will not stand by and see all the substance removed from the treaty."
New French president Nicolas Sarkozy said there were multiple disputes.
"We don't just have problems with Poland," he said. "We have problems with the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, a little bit with the Czech Republic. The problems are numerous."
Privately, No 10 indicated that Mr Blair wanted his demands met "100 per cent". But European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso retorted: "All the leaders say that they want 100 per cent achievement. But in Europe you've got to be reasonable and rational.
"At the end there has to be some, let's say, agreement."
Mrs Merkel sent an 11th-hour letter pleading with the leaders to compromise, so that Europe could move on from inwardlooking disputes to pressing issues such as climate change, energy supplies and globalisation.
"The European public now expects us to put the necessary reforms of the Union in hand," she wrote. "The time has now come to set out the roadmap for the impending reform of the treaties."
They are bad guys for knowing their history, apparently.
And if they didn't know it, they would be bad guys for being so ignorant.
Ah, the media.
Suggested compromise - give Poland the extra votes, and move the borders back to their 1938 locations. Everyone should be happy with that, shouldn’t they?
Another suggested compromise (likely by the Germans and the French): import more Muslims into Poland.
Don’t mention the War. ;)
While our memories are alive, Germany’s crimes are alive.
Seems reasonable to me. Maybe not diplomatic, but true, and thoroughly provoked. Germany is saying they deserve more power in the EU because they’re the biggest boys on the block. Poland is responding that they won’t agree to letting an axis run by the Germans dictate to them.
I think they’re tired of being told to pipe down and do what they’re told, or else.
Frankly, I’m very disturbed that Merkel and Sarkozy agreed to a backroom deal with socialist Tony Blair on imposing what amounts to a new constitution on Europe without any vote, discussion, or national referendums allowed. The sooner the whole thing goes down in flames, the better for the future of Europe.
Heck, Poland should be rewarded for saving Vienna and ending the 2nd Jihad. That action was the catalyst for everything ill that befell Poland since.
Likewise, Germany and France might have larger populations had not Romans invaded and made war on them for many years. Reduce the votes of the Italians. Oh, and remember when Henry V invaded France? Extra votes for the French. I kind of remember some guy named Princip (ok, he wasn’t from an EU nation, but still) executing Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, so that’s two more votes for Austria.
Is he not right? Didn’t the Nazis kill millions of Poles? Or did I miss something?
This isn't about reparations or whining - it's about equity.
You're not supposed to be able to profit from crime.
You are correct. Approximately 1 in 5 Poles died, or something extraordinary like that. Some FReeper no doubt can supply the correct figures.
If they don't "wa wa" about it, Germany gets to benefit from its past acts.
Its like me stealing your wallet, taking your cash, and buying a lottery ticket and winning, then telling you to pipe down when you complain.
But then where would one put a start-point to when reparations/ power bargains can be considered? Like someone earlier pointed out, will the Italians begin to lose its weightage of votes because of what the Romans did eons ago?
If they quibble over this, the only benefit might be the end of the European Union. The Nazis as a government, is long dead.