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.
The new director of the National Museum of Warsaw announced in April that he intends to remove the 1973 video “Consumer Art” by artist Natalia LL, which depicts a naked woman eating a banana in a suggestive manner. This raised concerns that the museum was censoring its content.
The public image of political mastermind Jarosław Kaczyński and his successful and expansive Law and Justice party was shattered by a series of articles published by the Gazeta Wyborcza daily starting on January 29. The image of Jarosław Kaczyński, who once famously said that “you don’t go into politics for money”, was built around a tale of modesty, honesty, lack of bank account, and too big suits he wore. His official property declaration for 2017 showed…
Not only do the authors describe different paths to achieving self-governance, but they also focus on the latest reforms that have changed the face of the local government in a positive or negative way and propose liberal solutions that can significantly contribute to improving the activities of local communities.
On October 21, 2018, Polish people elected their local and regional representatives who will lead the communities for next five years. The results were a good test before 2019 European and general elections, giving hopes for good liberal and center representations and chances of removing PiS from power.
Last Tuesday, the minister said in the parliament that UNESCO “illegally” added the Polish Białowieża primeval forest to the World Heritage list (sic!). Luckily, Polish activists and the friends of the Białowieża forest from all over the world are still fighting.
The current government does not care about quality of teaching or the competitiveness of Polish graduates on the European and global job markets. It wants to influence young people’s worldview and shape the party’s future electorate from the early stages of education. This dramatically illiberal agenda must be stopped and reversed.
Central European countries remain committed to a parliamentary system of governance as opposed to the presidential system favored by most of their counterparts in the former Soviet bloc. Their stories were supposed to have happy endings and make Central Europe a valedictorian of the European Union. Unfortunately, this did not last long.