Wed Jul 12th, 2006 at 05:10:25 AM EST
The coverage of the diplomatic tussle between Germany and Poland over a satirical article in a small leftwing daily die Tageszeitung that compared the President to a potato is disturbing:
Polish prime minister-designate Jaroslaw Kaczynski – Lech is his twin brother – has demanded that Berlin take action against Tageszeitung.
But a German government spokesman said Berlin would not make an apology, referring to German press freedom.
Germany’s august FAZ has branded the Polish leaders “authoritarian” and Bundestag EU affairs committee chief Matthias Wissmann has joined the row.
Poland’s ambassador to Berlin, Andrzej Byrt, has put the spat down to the political inexperience of the Kaczynski twins – he is leaving his posting in August.
“There is an over-sensitivity in Poland, because many new [Polish] politicians hardly know foreign countries,” he told the FT.
“They believe they control foreign reactions in the same way they do in Poland itself. To do this with foreign partners is perhaps not very sensible.”
(EUPolitix Press review.)
I'm not convinced that this is about inexperience: it seems like a strange thing to pick on unless you're looking for controversy and something to distract from what you're doing. Like appointing your twin brother to be Prime Minister...
However, I'd like to see some reaction from people closer to the area and in other than English language press.