The EPP president has caused another outrage when, during an interview for the German FAZ, he stated that he intends to build a “firewall” against Poland’s ruling party, PiS, in order to help Donald Tusk’s liberal Civic Platform to gain power. Manfred Weber also expressed his worries about Slovakia, where accused the largest opposition party’s leader, Robert Fico, of running with a politics reminiscent of Weber’s arch-enemy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
In the interview, the EPP President said that “We stand for a course that excludes radicals. AfD, Len Pen, these are our political enemies. I have formulated three conditions for any cooperation: Pro Europe, pro Ukraine, pro constitutional state. In this way, we are building a firewall to PiS (Law and Justice). We are the only force that can replace the PiS in Poland and lead the country back to Europe”.
He continued by saying that “PiS belongs to the camp of our political opponents. The anti-Tusk law, the Article 7 procedure, the selection of agreeable judges – in this way they place themselves outside the democratic discourse and put themselves in company with the AfD and Le Pen”.
The extraordinary gaffe in which Weber had admitted to interfering in the political processes of one of the EU’s member sates did not go unnoticed in Poland. Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called the remarks “scandalous”. MP for the government party PiS Sebastian Kaleta wrote on his social media page that Manfred Weber says outright that they want Tusk back in power, and Germany wants a puppet government in Poland that will not stand up to German interests. Last week Tusk has already made it clear he favors a migration pact that is favorable for Germany, but costly for Poland, added Kaleta.
Despite his reputation as a divisive figure, the EPP president clearly has a more relaxed side too. Photo: Facebook Manfred Weber
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki jokingly remarked in another tweet: “Draw your own conclusions from Manfred Weber’s scandalous statement. To me, only one comes to mind….”
Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin, on the other hand, replied by saying that “Mr. Weber, it is the Poles who decide who governs in our homeland. Berlin has no say here.”
Not satisfied by insulting Poland alone, Weber also attacked the leader of the largest Slovakian opposition party (SMER), Robert Fico. “Let us look at Slovakia. There, Robert Fico, still a member of the Social Democrats, is running with pure Orbán, pro-Putin and anti-right-wing state slang – and we with Eduard Heger for pro-Europe and pro-Ukraine.” Robert Fico was one of four Visegrad 4 country leaders, who helped to block the adoption of migrant quotas in 2019, a measure that Mr. Weber supports.
Featured Photo: Facebook Manfred Weber