Poland summons German ambassador over politicians' comments

Building of Polish public TV (file photo 4 January) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Poland has been criticised internationally for its new media law

The Polish foreign ministry has criticised German politicians for what it calls "anti-Polish" comments but has given no details of which ones.

However, both the German president of the European Parliament and the German EU commissioner have been sharply critical of Poland's new government.

The German ambassador has been summoned to the Polish foreign ministry.

The conservative and staunchly Catholic Law and Justice party won elections in October with a majority.

It became the first party to be able to govern alone since democracy was restored to Poland in 1989.


A newly enacted media law gives control of Polish public radio and TV to a national media council close to the government.

Thousands of Poles joined a demonstration on Saturday in Warsaw to protest against the law.

PiS has also sought to strengthen government control over the constitutional court and the civil service.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz, a German centre-left politician, accused PiS of putting the interests of party before country.

It was a "dangerous Putinisation of European politics," he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German), referring to Russia's authoritarian president.

Earlier this month, EU Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said there were grounds for activating a new EU mechanism for states deemed to have breached the rule of law.

However, in a recent interview with the right-wing Catholic broadcaster Trwam, Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Poland would not be lectured by Germany "on democracy and freedom".

He accused Germany and other countries of meddling with Poland's sovereignty.

Poland enjoyed eight years of excellent relations with Germany under the previous centre-right Civic Platform led government, says the BBC's Adam Easton, in Warsaw.

The new Law and Justice government is much more sceptical of Germany's intentions and frequently makes allusions to Poland's losses during the World War Two, our correspondent says.

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