“How Do Democracies Win?” was the main theme of this year’s edition of Freedom Games, an annual prestigious forum of ideas organized in Lodz, Poland. Needless to say, the title of the forum is a question uneasy to answer. I would also not dare to provide a straight-forward answer to it.
This year it was Tuesday. A terrible heat wave had been affecting Warsaw for over a week. Temperatures were above 30 degrees and everybody was looking for some shade. Those who could, spent their afternoons in parks, and many people voluntarily stayed overtime in offices to enjoy the AC.
The fact that the Polish public TV is the biggest fake news factory in the country has been well known for some time. But the news about the Ministry of Justice becoming a national center of hate speech truly electrified Poland in July.
In mid-June, hundreds of thousands of Czechs took to the streets of Prague calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in light of both a criminal investigation in the Czech Republic over alleged fraud, and an EU investigation over the abuse of EU funds by his Agrofert conglomerate.
The introduction of the controversial 500+ program in Poland has so far resulted in no increase in fertility rate. Noteworthy, 12% of the program budget would be sufficient to eliminate extreme child poverty. Meanwhile, 100,000 women were pushed out of the labor market.
The results of the 2019 European Parliament elections in Poland showed how powerful a weapon populism is and how divided Polish society truly is. On Sunday, May 26, 2019, Polish voters went to ballot boxes to elect their representatives in European Parliament.
A few days before the European elections we already know one of the results that will appear on the TV after the polling stations are closed. And although we are not able to estimate it precisely, no one has any doubts – the turnout in Poland will be record high.
The official rhetoric of PiS government is “to make it possible to develop micro enterprises into small, small into medium, and medium into large or even into international champions”. However, the actual measures undertaken by the government were, in fact, to petrify the size of the companies.
The Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary decided that good relations with Israel would bring them more benefits than solidarity with Poland. Not only did their representatives fly to Israel, but they seemed to be really satisfied with the meeting.