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16 Apr, 2024 22:17

EU country sacks official after bizarre X tirade

The deputy governor of a Polish province got into a flame war with critics
EU country sacks official after bizarre X tirade

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has dismissed the deputy governor of Lower Silesia, Jacek Protasiewicz, after a series of bizarre social media posts which included “homophobic” insults.

Once a member of Tusk’s party, but expelled in 2015, Protasiewicz tweeted a photo of his old political comrades and said he knew “many cool stories, important and certainly interesting for this country,” which he originally intended to share after his retirement “but maybe I’ll tell them sooner.”

Tusk fired Protasiewicz on Monday, at the request of the provincial governor. He remains a member of a political group allied with the Polish People’s Party (PSL), a junior partner in Tusk’s coalition government that took power last December. 

Ahead of the mayoral run-off vote in the provincial capital, Wroclaw, Protasiewicz got into a flame war on X (formerly Twitter), calling one critic a “lousy bum” and another a “stinking coward,” according to local media. The following day, he began posting about what appeared to be a romantic relationship with Daria Brzezicka, a party activist who is 30 years his junior.

When Brzezicka called out a journalist for making insinuations about her, Protasiewicz called him “ordinary, average, crap” and suggested the reporter had a small penis. He called another X user who criticized Brzezicka an “imperceptible speck of dust,” while suggesting a third critic was just typing “stupid things” because he was a jealous loser.

Protasiewicz went on to claim that “big and red lips” and a “delicate mouth” were responsible for activist Oskar Szafarowicz’s career in the formerly ruling PiS party. Szafarowicz has since said he would sue the deputy governor for “vulgar, primitive, homophobic” remarks.

After the PSL “firmly distanced” itself from the politician’s “inappropriate” comments, Protasiewicz further insisted that he could publish whatever he wants on his private X account.

The provincial governor’s office felt compelled to tweet that Protasiewicz’s posts were “his private opinions and in no way express the position of the governor.”

When asked if this involved any dirt, he replied, “no dirt, just the truth” and implied he had written notes to back it up.

Protasiewicz was a member of the Polish parliament from 2001-2004 and again from 2015-2023, and served three terms as a member of the European parliament between 2004 and 2014.