Poland's ambassador in Switzerland responds to accusations
A commentary by the Polish Ambassador in Bern Jakub Kumoch has appeared in the Swiss daily "Neue Zürcher Zeitung". In the article the Polish diplomat responds to the text by Reinhold Vetter, which attacks Poland and the countries in our region of Europe for alleged nationalism and succumbing to populist sentiment.
In his commentary, Ambassador Kumoch rejects accusations claiming that Polish policy is irresponsible: "There is no doubt that the democratically elected government of Poland is conservative, that it rejects left-liberal ideology and advocates conservative historical policy. But this is not a sin! The same government is in favour of transatlantic cooperation, supports Poland's membership of the EU, carries out serious social reforms and opposes any violation of international law, such as Russian aggression against Ukraine. I do not think such actions can be described as "right-wing populism".
Kumoch also points to the incompetence of the German author with regard to matters concerning the Central European political scene: “Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Viktor Orban are considered nationalists although the latter is a member of the same party in the European political arena as Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker, and even Social Democratic politicians from the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Milosz Zeman and Robert Fico). There is also no justification for Vetter's allegation that the Polish government discriminates against Muslims. For example, Selim Chazbijewicz, one of the most famous Polish Tatars leaders, was recently appointed as the Polish ambassador to Kazakhstan.”
Ambassador Kumoch wrote that the author of the article in the Swiss daily is revealing his hypocrisy by denying Poland and other states of our region the right to build a strong and just state, which is the basis of the success of Western Europe: “It is true. Central European countries want to build strong states – as strong as Germany, Sweden and Denmark. States that fulfil their social responsibilities. The creators of the Swiss constitution wisely wrote that ‘the power of the nation is measured by the good of the weak.’ Central European governments, in my opinion, would fully agree with this principle. The dogma stating that the weak are responsible for their own problems was one of the great mistakes of social reform in our region.”
Furthermore, Ambassador Kumoch observes that Reinhold Vetter is selective in his use of facts in his article, choosing only those that help him justify a previously made thesis: “It does not take into account strong economic growth, social dynamics and demographic change in Central Europe. All these factors make society in our region become more confident and assertive. The inferiority complex goes away with the subsequent generation. It may be the case that a fifty-year-old from Poland, Hungary or another citizen of Central Europe, may at times feel like a "poor relative" compared to his peers in Western countries – whilst a 20-year-old does not!”
“Countries in our region also know that their voice counts. They constitute almost 40 per cent of all EU Member States and over 20 per cent of the population of the EU. Yes, Central Europe is becoming more confident! And this is a process that cannot be stopped,” Ambassador Kumoch states in his article.