Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Poland to EU: Boom, boom, boom, let's go back to my room

Poland is a dashing young tango dancer seducing the beautiful young lady that is the EU. That, at least, is how Poland is promoting the fact it takes over the EU's helm for 6 months starting on Friday in a video by renowned Polish animator Tomasz Baginski.

Jaded Western audiences might scoff at the notion of the Polish seduction artist, but historical precedents do exist. The dashing Polish revolutionary stole the hearts of many a young Western European doyenne back in the day.

Modern Polish politicians tap into this vein as well. Who can forget the recent jest by President Bronislaw Komorowski: Why do Polish men kiss a woman's hand? Because you have to start somewhere.

As we noted, Prime Minister Donald Tusk has also showed his Don Juan side when asked whether Poland had "buttoned up" preparations for the EU presidency. "[…] I'm looking at the lady editor's summer dress and buttoning up is not what comes to mind," Tusk said. "I like . . . summer."

The rest of the EU, you have been warned. Don't come crying to Poland X when Poland, after a successful seduction, slips out in the middle of the night come January and leaves you weeping.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One foot in the FinMin, the other in PiS

Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski is preparing to run on behalf of the senior ruling Civic Platform (PO) in his first election this October. But his answers in a recent interview point to more than a few affinities with the hard nationalist conservatives from the opposition Law and Justice (PiS).

Rostowski might feel a little set up by the line of questioning in a recent interview for the centre-left daily Gazeta Wyborcza. Considering his job as finance minister, the ongoing Greek debt tragedy blighting the whole EU, and Poland's own improving but hardly rosy fiscal situation, one might imagine a question along these lines. Wyborcza was clearly focused on something else, asking how "did you, as an ultra-conservative, accept PM Tusk's comments that in the next term the PO will deal with homosexual unions?"

Rostowski, ultra-conservative? I would have a hard time saying his fiscal policy has been ultra-conservative but I digress. What did the "ultra-conservative" come up with?

"The institution of marriage despite all the well-known flaws has survived in wonderful fashion for thousands of years." Huh. "And I don't have the feeling the formula has been used up. I'm thus against homosexual unions."

Pressed on another area, Rostowski said he was against in vitro fertilisation because "human life is the most important." Has PiS leader and the crankiest politician alive Jaroslaw Kaczynski taken over Rostowski's brain? Well, not totally. He said he was against PiS's idea of throwing those who use IVF into jail. Isn't that reassuring.

Rostowski is accused of being anti-feminist as well, but that's rather a sign of Wyborcza's extreme self-righteousness. (In fact, if you were to make a self-righteous coin, PiS would be on one side and Wyborcza on the other, with no one anywhere in Poland the wiser.)

Rostowski's views do thus appear to be uber-conservative. Such beliefs would not be foreign in PiS. One wonders where the fiscal conservative part of the honourable finance minister got lost. Surely, he would have pushed for reforms of a more structural rather than superficial nature.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lights out for Euro 2012

Last week Poland's not-so-well-run state railways PKP was about to show all nay-sayers its true prowess and dedication to reform and modernisation. On Thursday, a key facility was to be unveiled, media were invited, red carpets rolled out and champagne ordered and uncorked for the launch of...the most modern toilet at Warsaw's Central Railway Station.

Either the toilet is PKP's flagship venture ahead of the Euro 2012 football tournament or it is a reaction to an upcoming PC horror game called "Centralny Loo" starring zombies, monsters and the undead emanating from some of the previously fetid toilets.

Back to the unveiling...everything was going great until just before the first "client" planned to flush the toilet the lights went out in the entire railway station and stayed that way for several hours. People had to be evacuated, emergency crews appeared, trains were stopped for hours, and it took until the late afternoon to get the place back to normal. The cause of the blackout, officially, remains unknown.

The fate of the toilet remains a mystery, but I suppose due to safety concerns all toilets at the central station will be closed between May and July 2012, when the football tournament is held. After all, we can't risk a panic every time someone flushes a toilet can we?!

Rydzyk, a DTD sufferer?

Many have long suspected Father Tadeusz Rydzyk has mental problems. How else to explain the cocktail of xenophonic, homophobic and anti-Semitic bile broadcast by his Polish media empire. But evidence of disease might finally be at hand.

Rydzyk travelled to Brussels recently and had the following to say: "I don't know where I live…."

I'm not a psychiatrist but this would appear to suggest Rydzyk suffers from Developmental Topographical Disorder, aka DTD. This is a disorder (cue Wikipedia plagiarism) caused by the inability to segregate landmarks and derive navigational information from them. I think this explains part of his problem very well. He doesn't know where he is and might believe he's still in the dark ages, along with his views.

But this does not seem to be Rydzyk's only problem. He appears to have lost his memory as well.

"I don't know where I live . . . but in Communist times we didn't have problems like we do today," he said.

Yes, the problems of today are horrendous. Many contemporary Poles are afflicted with issues such as which toilet paper should I buy and not with issues like should I wipe my behind with the sports section or the political section, as in Communism. Another question weighing on many is why is there so much traffice and not how can I possibly hope to get a car this lifetime. Or, considering it seems 99% of Poles have flat-screen TVs, a rising issue is should I really go 3D or is it just a passing fad.

Rydzyk has many issues it seems. But I think DTD and memory loss are only the tip of the iceberg....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our Moms are from Sopot

The Polish and German governments recently held a joint sitting chaired by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Donald Tusk in a clear sign of improving relations. Many important decisions were taken. For example, it was decided that indeed the Nord Stream pipeline to take Russian gas straight to Germany along the Baltic seabed would not block expansion of Poland's Swinoujscie port.

Common roots were also found: Merkel's and Tusk's mothers were apparently both born in the Polish city of Sopot, the German Zoppot before WWII. It was not, though, established whether their grandfathers served together in the Wehrmacht.

Tusk, in line with his view that everything is fine and dandy, said the unusually close friendship between the governments had resulted in increased trade between the two economies since he took power in 2007. I would rather bet on the fact the German economy is handling the EU's crisis much better than other Polish trading partners and hence its growing importance, but whatever.

The message of love was quickly picked up by other institutions. Out of several Polish cities, Wroclaw (or Breslau, as the Germans used to have it) was picked as the 2016 Capital of Culture as clearly the most "European" of the lot.

The Polish football association PZPN also decided to move Poland's friendly with Germany from a Warsaw where the stadium is not ready to...Danzig (or Gdansk, according to its current Polish name). AND they plan to hold it in September.

I guess anyone who visits Gdansk for the September 1 anniversary celebrations of the German attack on Poland in 1939 that started WWII could stay until the football match. Unfortunately, for the Poles, odds are the outcome will result in another German victory....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Poland's next government: plus ça change

One gauge of just how sure everyone is that Civic Platform (PO) will win the October general elections is a news focus on which PO members will be in the next government and sarcastic blog posts like this one criticising the next government before it's even formed.

Donald Tusk, the prime minister and PO boss, supposedly very much desires a repeat term to win for himself the bragging rights as the only Polish prime minister to serve two full terms. That's not quite up there with the first man to climb Everest backwards but I guess it's something.

To boost the PO's chances, Tusk is already approaching what must not just be a Polish record but a Guinness book record for most successive TV appearances by a standing, supposedly working PM. Tusk has been opening oil refineries and industrial plants and stadiums and attending football matches, picnics and conferences here, there and everywhere every day. I thought the one-time Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, RIP (his political career), was too active in the media. Tusk puts him to absolute shame.

Other ministers are to be . . . but wait, you say, isn't it a little premature to be talking about the next PO-based government to come after elections still several months away? Didn't the PO also have a big lead in the run-up to the 2005 elections only to see it evaporate and for it to lose? Won't whichever coalition partner the PO invariably gets stuck with sink some of these nice plans? Yes, yes and yes.

The PO is clearly well-placed for the elections, but who knows. Many voters are tired of the party, some are disappointed in the lack or choice of reform, and others are turned off as they would be by any standing government. Tusk's potential over-presence in the media could also be a liability. Though he remains popular, the fact that Tusk is the PO these days means any blow to his standing would hurt the party's standing that much more. If that were to happen, the elections would be a lot more interesting.

Monday, June 20, 2011

James Bond drinks coffee in Warsaw at...

The daily Rzeczpospolita just presented an indefinite list of where to go in Warsaw if you want to meet a local James Bond. If you really want to meet him or his like, you should hang out at the Sheraton hotel's restaurant or coffeeshop.

We would not, however, recommend this for two reasons: first, you would be charged insane amounts of money for very average services and food; second, you would be more likely to meet a rather uninteresting Polish football association official straight from the communist-era (they seem to love the place) rather than a Polish version of Daniel Craig.

Other places where Poland's espionage aces supposedly visit often is the coffee/bar trio of Szpulka, Szpilka and Szparka, which are certainly well known to anyone familiar with Warsaw's bars. It is actually no surprise that these places are high on the list: you can meet all sorts of celebrities there, both during the day and night. From the places mentioned in the article these three are the only ones worth going to.

The last choice for those who are into something stronger than coffee, Rzeczpospolita recommends U Szwejka or Sarmacja. Clearly this is a stage when all one needs is vodka and cucumbers since nothing else there is eatable.

So there you go. You know which places to avoid in Warsaw if you have somemthing to hide or on the contrary you know where to hang out. But honestly if what Rzeczpospolita wrote is true, it just shows that Polish secret agents have to watch more James Bond movies to get a proper sense of style.

While those who really want to get acquainted closely with these types of people the best strategy would be to start an anti-government blog. Gotta go, somebody is banging on my door...

Friday, June 17, 2011

One party, One leader

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in Gdansk recently that room exists in "the Civic Platform for anyone that means well for Poland." What a nice, catchy phrase. It basically implies that anyone who is not in the PO does not mean well for Poland. I think you know exactly who he means.

Of course, this was also a nice way to welcome some more pragmatic Polish politicians, as already mentioned here, but it also has a "one party to rule them all" tone.

The PM is clearly on the offensive. In the past several days, he has visited a new oil storage facility as well as a new Ikea factory. One would think that wherever the First Secretary, I mean the Prime Minister, goes some new industry pops up all of a sudden.

He has also single-handedly solved delays with building the National Stadium in Warsaw, ejected troublesome Chinese road builders and assured everyone that prices will drop . . . but only if the Civic Platform (PO) he leads wins the autumn elections.

All this has led the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) of Jaroslaw Kaczynski to say we nearly have a dictatorship. On the back of Tusk's strong arm leadership and the police shut down of a blogger critical of the president, he asks whether we are any better than Belarus or the communist regime of the past?

Let's be honest and look who's talking. He's the guy who says he and his party are the only "true" patriots, who says everyone against PiS is like the former military policy in ZOMO, and who says that anyone who acquired wealth in Poland is one or all of a thief, criminal, corrupt businessman, former secret service informant, or former communist dignitary.

In the end both Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Donald Tusk are clearly closer to each other than they care to admit. They both believe in one party (their party), one leader (them), one goal (power), and one nation -- the one that votes for them.

So there you have it. Poland at the moment looks like this: Two Parties, Two Leaders, One Mindset.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Election matrix

It happened quietly, unnoticeably, you might have been reading, sleeping, watching TV or...busy with REALLY important stuff. Last weekend, it's hard to say when exactly, all of Poland travelled through a Stargate connecting two separate realities. The signs of this are only now appearing, but there can be only one explanation: Poland has entered election campaign reality.

This is a Matrix-like world where nothing said is what it seems, nothing promised will ever be done but everyone believes it will be . . . Did you just have a deja-vu that such gripes have all been said before? It must be a glitch in the matrix.

Anyway, in this reality there is no spoon, or rather even the spoon is a political issue. It could be silver and a sign of growing wealth -- a clear sign the government is doing the right thing. But the very same spoon could also be a sign that income disparity has widened and more and more Poles can only dream of such luxuries. Or even if they have some shiny spoon, where is the soup they can eat it with.

Anything you see, hear, or read will either be a great success or an utter failure. The government shows that Euro 2012 preparations are on track and there is no threat to the championships. At the same time it is obvious to everyone that total embarrassment is unavoidable. Inflation is only a passing one-off event caused by global speculators or it is a sign Poland's economy is a total disaster. You are either one of US or one of THEM.

There really is no other way. Thus, take the blue pill or the red pill. Decide whether all is fine and dandy or everything is total crap. Take your pill and enjoy the ride until sometime later this year we all seamlessly cross through that Stargate and return to the post-election reality. . .or not?

Inflation nation

Polish inflation shot up in May. The main CPI index spiked to the nearly decade-long high of 5.0%. The expectation was inflation would hit 4.6%. So, economists, commentators and market players were floored.

Over at beyondbrics, the Financial Times' Jan Cienski writes that the inflation game has become increasingly political, citing an interview with Economy Minister and Deputy PM Waldemar Pawlak. He notes that Pawlak says higher rates could slow GDP growth by curbing demand and suggests that somehow this is government policy.

I think this is a step too far. For all its failings, I don't honestly believe Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski or Prime Minister Donald Tusk have any intention of trying to set interest rates or to make the council vote one way or another. After all, Tusk's government appointed 7 of the council's 10 members just over a year ago and could have picked super doves if it had wanted.

Second, Pawlak has been arguing against rate hikes and for rate cuts for at least a decade. His mantra is so set that there are in fact three certainties in Poland: death, taxes and Pawlak opposing rate hikes (or tryign to talk the zloty weaker -- his other favourite bugbear).

Pawlak's problem is that few who actually have a market impact pay any attention. And, though MPC member Elzbieta Chojna-Duch, the biggest dove at present and the choice of Pawlak's party, was probably selected for her dovish leanings, there is no evidence the council listens at all.

I thus don't see how the inflation story is becoming increasingly political. Politics did probably affect the MPC early on in its term in spring 2010, but the council has been surprisingly united of late. It voted 9-1 in favour of hiking interest rates in April, reports say the May hike was backed by a similar scale, and I suspect the June hike was also supported by a wide margin. This suggests a council increasingly united and not influenced in any way by political factors.

The MPC is many things. It has been a poor communicator. It is way behind the curve for some and way ahead for others (at least Pawlak). But the one thing its rate policy is not these days is political. As they say here in Poland, thanks god.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tusk should send Jaroslaw Kaczynski to Siberia

PM Donald Tusk said Tuesday he would not ship Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski off to Siberia. That is a shame. A trip to the gulag might give Kaczynski a little time to think about what he is saying.

Kaczynski enjoys most these days talking up Tusk's apparent dictatorial desires. He just loves insinuating that Tusk and the Russians are conspiring against "real" Poles like him. A case where the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) is mulling trying to haul Kaczynski and a PiS ally before the State Tribunal gave him the latest chance to do so.

"I'm already packing. I choose Siberia because I think Tusk and Putin have already chosen the place," Kaczynski said when asked about the potential State Tribunal motion.

Ha ha ha. What a joker.

The ironic thing is that the State Tribunal talk comes in relation to a parliamentary probe into events that occurred when Kaczynski was PM in 2005-07 when police raided and tried to arrest SLD MP Barbara Blida on corruption charges. She ended up committing suicide, at least according to security forces. Many questions have since arisen over what really happened. The sneaking suspicion is Kaczynski and then Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro pressured police to nab a big fish.

If anyone is thus to talk about the state using its apparatus to forward political interests a la Gulag or in a Stalinist manner, it is not Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Maybe some time in Siberia would therefore give him a good while to ponder the true meaning of his words. And there would be one upside for him: everyone really would be out to get him.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Small miracle

Warsaw decided to throw out a joint venture of state-owned utility PGE and gas monopolist PGNiG from the ongoing privatisation of Warsaw's municipal heating distributor SPEC.

Until now it seemed clear the transaction would end up as yet another "privatisation," that is, an example where a state-owned (in this case municipally owned) company becomes indirectly state-owned because it was bought by a state-controlled entity. It's sort of like putting money in a different pocket.

According to media reports, the potential buyers now include French utility Dalkia, private equity group Penta and . . . Jan Kulczyk (no word on the Libyans yet).

In my book, the odds are this sale will wind up as did the ill-fated Enea transaction: as a disaster. After all there are no more state-owned companies in the race anymore.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Civic Platform is big

Not even big, but huuuge. Any politician would fit, feel at home there. Well, everyone except Jaroslaw Kaczynski. On the other hand, he could also fit in it too but under two conditions: he would have to change his name and stop calling Prime Minister Donald Tusk "Donek."

We did signal that some prominent politicians are going to join, or let's say associate themselves, with the PO, and so it came true. On Saturday, on PO's convention kicking off the election campaign two new people showed up: the former leader of Poland is the Awesomest (PJN) and a one-time former head of Jaroslaw Kaczynski's campaign, Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska and...former foreign minister for a Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) government, Member of the European Parliament from an SLD splinter group, Dariusz Rosati.

The pair sat in the front row beside another PiS escapee, Radoslaw Sikorski, the current foreign minister, and a recent SLD escapee, Bartosz Arlukowicz -- truly very good company, though PO voters might be a little baffled. After all in this group are people who are for gay rights and against, who believe in a free market economy and believe in social responsibilities for the state, who believe the pension system should be self-sustainable and who think pensions should be high no matter the tax burden.

In the end PO politicians agree on one thing. To quote Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska: "I came here because I will do anything so that PiS does not get back into power."

To look at it inversely, it is clear that the PO is about only one thing -- retaining power. Therefore, do not fool yourself into believing that it will get its act together after the elections and start reforming this and that. It will not, that is, unless the situation is so dire (significant recession) the only hope would be to reform and keep fingers crossed the effects are felt before the next elections.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

When will you adopt the euro?

North Americans don't know much about Poland in general. They do know Poland joined the European Union. But they all think Poland already has the euro. After all, it's the common currency of "Europe" and Poland's in Europe, isn't it? What, they don't have it? When will they adopt the euro?

I heard an anecdote earlier today about a cab driver whose daughter is working in London, which is not, as you know, unusual. Apparently, the daughter says she won't return to Poland until it has the euro.

It's as if the euro is this magic talisman of "normal." Or a sign "Poland has arrived." That it has left behind its developing economy ways and its Communist past and joined the Western European club, that it has transformed, like some slug become butterfly. I know of a few European Commission and European Central Bank officials who surely dream it thus.

Instead, the EC and ECB have their Greek tragedy, which is one main reason why the prospect of Poland's euro adoption is receding, not nearing. It's hard to even remember what Prime Ministry Donald Tusk was going on about when in September 2008 he shocked everyone -- including those in his own government -- by saying Poland would adopt the euro in 2011. That didn't happen, clearly.

National Bank of Poland Governor Marek Belka said on Monday that "the euro is for the brave," certainly meaning a fast changeover won't happen. Polls also show Poles are way less enthusiastic as well. Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski has even not excluded the fact the euro won't become legal tender in Poland till nearly 2020.

Ironically, this is about the earliest date mentioned by Law and Justice (PiS) leader and Poland's chief euro-sceptic, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, as desirable for euro take-up. On the prompting of advisers, Kaczynski has said Polish wages should be at European averages before the zloty is jettisoned. He could actually be right this time.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tusk's leftist strategy pays off

Prime Minister Donald Tusk's veer of his Civic Platform (PO) away from reform and toward the "pro-social" policy that now characterises all parties in Poland has paid off. News comes Tuesday that the Social Democratic Party of Poland (SDPL) is close to finalising a deal for some of its members to run on PO lists in the October general elections.

If true, both parties are likely murmuring the old phrase: if you can't beat them, join them.

The PO was never really popular when it talked a lot about deregulation, pension reform, spending cuts and the like. Now that it more or less sounds like all the other parties on economic policy, its support is higher than any other ruling party this close to elections.

The SDPL, well, that's one history lesson those in Poland Is Most Important (PJN), the ex-Law and Justice (PiS) splinter group that is itself splintering, should not have skipped.

The SDPL was formed in 2004 when the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) was teetering on the brink. A bunch of leftists and centre-leftists decided they had the chance of forming a 'real' centre-left party shorn of the baggage of post-Communism and then created the SDPL.

In a key vote of no-confidence in 2005 in then Prime Minister Marek Belka, the SDPL decided to back Belka and build support for elections then scheduled for the autumn rather than go for early elections even though there support was high. The extra time allowed the SLD to recover and the SDPL's early support bled away. It failed to make parliament and it has been in the wilderness ever since.

The PO's less radical policy and the SDPL's banishment produce what Vasyloo was talking about yesterday: the grounds for some star transfers.

Soon we'll all likely be saying 'welcome back Dariusz Rosati and Marek Borowski and Marek Balicki and Isabella Sierakowska and a whole raft of other professional politicians.' They'll be laughing, as will Tusk and PiS boss Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who can accuse the PO of being in bed with the left. SLD leader Grzegorz Napieralski? Not so much.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Transfer season

Football leagues across Europe are done for summer and hundreds of scouts are on the look-out for sweet transfer deals ahead of next season. The Polish league is no different, teams seeking whoever they can to strengthen ahead of upcoming Champions League and Europa League qualifiers. This "transfer season" mentality has proven to be really contagious, spreading to a similarly low-quality sport (at least in Poland): politics.

As in the world of sports, those who failed are the first to be dropped ahead of a new season, and here I mean parliamentary term. This is apparently the fate of Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska, who is seemingly set to leave the party Poland Is (Awesomest) Most Important (PJN). With polls showing support lower than the statistical error margin the PJN's now former leader resigned over the weekend. Media are already speculating the former PJN leader will join the senior ruling Civic Platform (PO), the clear favourite going into the October elections.

The PO under Prime Minister and leader Donald Tusk is clearly mimicking Real Madrid's "Galacticos" strategy, hunting for major league transfers left and right. They lured the popular Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) MP Bartosz Arłukowicz and, according to rumours, even tried (are trying?) to get more leftist politicians like Dariusz Rosati and Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.

Meanwhile, the SLD is luring...the tried and true: former Prime Minister (and suspected spy) Jozef Oleksy and controversial media mogul Wlodzimierz Czarzasty.

The only party quiet in terms of transfers is Law and Justice (PiS). But most likely they will get en bloc whoever is left at PJN after its stars jump ship to PO.

Who will be more successful in their transfers, Tusk, SLD leader Grzegorz Napieralski, PiS boss Jaroslaw Kaczynski or...Wisla Krakow's Stan Valckx, we'll see in October.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


I like unbuttoning too...
Mr. Prime Minister, have you buttoned up all preparations to hold the EU's 6-month rotating presidency from July 1, Donald Franciszek Tusk was asked on Wednesday.

"[…] I'm looking at the lady editor's summer dress and buttoning up is not what comes to mind," the prime minister answered. "I like . . . summer."

DFT must have been channelling everyone's favourite French cad as he "rots" during his home arrest (click link to see definite injustice).

Let's be generous. Heat made Tusk do it. The hot weather, I mean. Tusk has done nothing to give birth to allegations . . . I mean reproduce . . . er, produce speculation he's a no-good womaniser abusing his power.

Poland's Women's Party is having none of this, though. As they must, they branded DFT's comments as "scandalous" and "unacceptable." The Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) even threatened to sue Tusk before the MP Ethics Commission.

Fearing the global opprobrium that hit DSK, DFT has promptly apologised. Bad boy, Donald. Bad boy.

The perfect strategy, for losing

Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the only true Pole (in his eyes), was once described as a political genius for orchestrating a double election victory in 2005. But what if that was a fluke. What if he Forrest Gumped his party's way to victory in the parliamentary and presidential elections.

PiS's latest strategy suggests it was indeed fluke. Kaczynski's party's support sank 7 percentage points to 28% in a recent survey done by GfK Polonia for the daily Rzeczpospolita. The drop was entirely due to an ill-devised strategy.

Kaczynski in all his wisdom decided to trot out Mariusz Kaminski, his main hatchet man and the former head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA), in order to make wild accusations regarding the senior ruling Civic Platform (PO) and its alleged ties to organised crime.

Only in Kaczynski Land does Kaminski have any credibility and so Jarek announced earlier this week that PiS demanded the setting up of a parliamentary probe into the trumped up allegations made by his main lieutenant.

Hmmm, what does this remind Poles of? Could it perhaps be the CBA's investigations in the runup to the 2007 elections in which the PO trounced PiS that made it seem like PiS was abusing power to produce political results? Could it be of the entire PiS reign in 2005-2007 where security services and prosecutors seemed to run rampant to do the bidding of their PiS masters.

You bet. If PiS keeps up that strategy, the PO will cruise to victory in the October general elections. This would obviously be a disastrous strategy for Kaczynski's party. For everyone else, well, there are worse things in this world . . . .