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‘Totally unacceptable’: Juncker defends Tusk from Hitler, Stalin name calling by Polish state TV

‘Totally unacceptable’: Juncker defends Tusk from Hitler, Stalin name calling by Polish state TV
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has rushed to defend his friend and colleague EU Council President Donald Tusk, after the latter was compared to both Hitler and Stalin by the Polish state broadcaster.

Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, and arch-rival of the incumbent nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party which took power in late 2015, issued a scathing takedown of the current Polish government during a visit to Warsaw last week in which he admonished the PiS administration for flouting the rule of law and the constitution.

In response, the state broadcaster, which the government keeps on a tight leash, showed images of Tusk alongside pictures of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler, both of whom invaded Poland at one time during their respective reigns of terror; the insinuation being that Tusk had more in common with invading foreign dictators than his fellow countrymen.

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Juncker had a few choice words for the Polish state broadcaster in defence of his colleague, calling such comparisons “highly disgusting.”

“If this is possible, this has something to do with the overall political atmosphere in the country, I don’t like that. I find these remarks totally unacceptable,” Juncker said.

“But I think Poland has its place at the heart of Europe… Although we have some divergences and differences with the Polish government, we’ll be able at a given moment to solve these problems.”

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Poland is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections this fall, with presidential elections to be held in May 2020. For the time being, however, despite criticism from EU leaders, PiS still enjoys popularity among Poles, owing to its strong nationalist rhetoric, increased social spending and combative, euroskeptic rhetoric.

It was also announced Tuesday afternoon that Juncker was given the European leader of the year award which may prove his nemeses’ point, especially if the rumors of a possible run for office in his native Poland, once his presidency of the European Council ends in November, are true.

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