German ambassador to appear in Warsaw over "anti-Polish" remarks

Germany's ambassador to Poland was set to appear at Warsaw's Foreign Ministry on Monday over alleged "anti-Polish" remarks by German politicians, as a debate over the recent actions of its ultra-conservative government gained momentum.

The German diplomat was summoned to appear at the ministry to discuss comments by Martin Schulz, the German president of the European Parliament, who told Germany's FAZ newspaper on Sunday that the government in Warsaw was conducting "Putin-style politics."

Tensions between the central European neighbours came to the fore last week when German EU commissioner Guenther Oettinger said that recent actions by the Polish government may warrant activating an EU mechanism for member states deemed to be undermining the rule of law.

Poland's nationalist conservative Law and Justice Party came to power with a majority in October and has sought to impose limits on media freedom and strengthen government control over the constitutional court and the civil service.

Poland has long been critical of Germany's dominance in the EU, and right-wing politicians are now accusing Berlin of infringing upon their country's sovereignty.

"No pressure, no words, especially those from the lips of German politicians, will deter us from this path," Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the Law and Justice Party, told supporters on Sunday. "We will repair Poland. We will implement this [reform] programme."

The bilateral tensions threaten to mar relations that the neighbours worked for decades to build after the end of World War II.

The European Commission will debate this week whether Warsaw's actions warrant placing the country under an EU supervision mechanism that can prompt international sanctions.

Last update: Mon, 11/01/2016 - 10:46
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