Poland has described as “silly” a critical letter sent to the East European country by the European Union (EU) demanding “supervision” over Warsaw’s decisions.
“I am not in the habit of replying to silly comments on Poland made by foreign politicians,” Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro wrote to EU commissioner Gunther Oettinger in a letter published by state news agency PAP on Saturday.
Relations between Poland and Brussels have strained since the Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS) gained power in the country in October 2015 on a Eurosceptic platform, and set out to make drastic changes to government policies.
Oettinger, who is a German politician responsible for the EU’s policy on society, had written to Poland last week, saying that Warsaw’s new policies regarding changes to the constitution and alleged restrictions on media contradict EU standards.
He advised that Poland’s decisions be put under Brussels’ supervision.
“Such words, said by a German politician, cause the worst of connotations among Poles. Also in me. I’m a grandson of a Polish officer, who during World War II fought in the underground National Army with ‘German supervision,’” Ziobro said.
The National Army was the main Polish resistance movement during World War II, while “supervision” may be a reference to the Nazi occupation of Poland.
Ziobro also questioned Berlin’s own record on media freedoms by claiming that Germany had launched a media blackout on news covering attacks on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.
“I came to a sad conclusion that it is easier for you to talk about fictitious threats to media freedom in other countries than to condemn censorship in your homeland,” Ziobro wrote.
There was no immediate reaction from Brussels or Berlin to the letter.
Poland’s PiS ruling party bids to change certain policies have prompted nationwide protests by the opposition, which claimes that PiS is seeking to take control of the judiciary and media to cut democratic checks and balances.
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has likewise expressed “concern” about the planned policy changes.
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