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Extending term of Donald Tusk as president of the European Council shaked Poland for a while. Jarosław Kaczyński during a shouting session in a Polish parliament (as polish parliament slowly turns into some poor stage for flash mob events and “who-can-shout-lounder” context) was really angry, slamming his hand into the pulpit almost like Chrustchev in UN some decades ago. He called opposition an Outer Party, but nobody really knows what he had in mind. Perhaps it was a reference to Orwell’s “1984”? And in that case, would PiS be Inner Party? That would explain a lot…
But despite some pitiful attempts to fight it, and Waszczykowski making a fool of himself once again by claiming that Tusk election was a fraud, the government came to terms with their loss. Of course, they needed something to feed to their supporters, so they brag that new agreement signed up in Rome was heavily changed to answer Polish demands, and thus the whole action with Tusk was a great success: Poland has shown it strength and the rest of Europe has to bend in. Of course the truth is that nothing was changed, PiS just claims post factum that certain provisions of that agreement are proof of Polish victory, while they were there from the beginning and nobody had to change anything, but who cares: nobody really listen to PiS abroad any more, and in Poland they just needed something to feed to TVP, their propaganda station (formerly national television).
Having that sorted, Poland came back to business as usual. Parliamentary commission debates on the new resolution celebrating centenary of revealing Secrets of Fátima. But of course, as our national poet Mikołaj Rej wrote “”Let it by all and sundry foreign nations be known
that Poles speak not Anserine but a tongue of their own”, and this is also true when it comes to miracles attributed to Holy Mary. And forget Black Madonna of Częstochowa and her mainstream clones, we have so many miracles, that we run out of air time to inform about all of them, so even the weather forecast in local TVP channel has to include a reportage about local miraculous figure of Our Lady of Borek Stary… Not everyone watches television though, that’s why other means of communications are also important, and this is probably why PiS is so desperate to push ahead with their reform of education.
First glance on the things to come can be seen already, as the new primary school for boys run by Opus Dei, a mysterious catholic organisation, is being opened in Łódź. Between the sessions of prayer and religious education, there will be even some actual schooling there! But of course progress is important at every front, not only in education. This is why Ministry of Development supported the Light-Life movement, also known as Oasis movement, a renewal branch of Catholic Church. This organization during the gala in the Ministry Headquarters handed out their new awards to such people like prime minister Beata Szydło (“for introducing Church’ Social Teaching into the live of the nation”) or radical anti-abortion gynaecologist prof. Bogdan Chazan (“for steadfast defence of the unborn”). One award also went to an organization that claims to cure homosexuality. This is progress, Polish style.
But of course real development matters as well. Recently it was announced that new, Central Airport will be built (at a cost of 30 billions złoty) somewhere between Warszawa and Łódź. This will be the new, national air travel hub, will allow Polish passengers to avoid using such big air travel hubs like Frankfurt or Dubai. Yeah, in your face Arabs and German! We will build ourself our own hub and we will be flying from it ourselves. Probably to Radom, as if some planes start to go there, at least they could claim that they did not wasted 120 millions of Polish złoty on building this one. Radom airport became a popular joke topic after it was opened at this great expense to find (what everyone having a basic common sense was able to predict) that nobody wants to fly there, even despite the fact that a 100 km train journey from Warszawa to Radom takes almost three hours. Although, to be fair: it seems that there is some progress: in 2016 almost 10 000 people used this airport, which is a huge leap forward if we remember that just year before Radom served only 792 passengers. So if another 990 000 passengers per year will decide to fly from or to there, it might actually start to generate some profit.
But the idea of central airport is not that dull actually, as the main Polish airport, Okęcie in Warsaw, cannot cope with current demand, and being surrounded by built-up area has a little space for improvement. At the backdrop of other idiotic ideas by PiS, the project of the Central National Airport looks not so bad, so it was met with some positive response. Therefore some government ministers decide to surf that wave, and for example Jarosław Gowin, minister of higher education, came up with the proposal of Central Train Station that would be build just next to the central airport. This idea was ridiculed by everyone, so at present it seems that PiS has decided to postpone announcing the project of Central Ferry Terminal and Central Tramway Terminus until they actually find someone, who can distinguish between good and silly ideas.
But there are also other issues related to infrastructure. Local PiS activist from North West Poland has noticed that zebra crossing, that in dangerous places are painted over red tarmac, resemble Polish flag. He pointed out that crossing the road on such red-and-white crossing might be considered as desacration of the national flag. This might be taken seriously, as local government are now getting very cautious to do not get involved in politics. Mayor of Kielce for example refused permission for people to plant trees (this is an action organized in response to the hecatomb of trees for which Jan Szyszko, minister of environment is to blame). According to him planting trees in current political climate can be considered as an attempt to drag city of Kielce into anti-government protests.
And only in Ministry of Defence everything goes smooth. After Edmund Janniger, a 22 years old “advisor” to minister Macierewicz (don’t mix him up with Bartłomiej Misiewicz, as minister Macierewicz seems to like young boys, so he has more of them!) was found back on the ministry’s payroll, the press decided to check what is he responsible for, and how is he doing. It turned out that his new job is to organize lectures of foreign academics in the military units, and over three months of his employment, he managed to organize zero of such visits. Surprisingly, according to Ministry’s press office, Edmund Janniger’s service “fulfils ministry expectations”. That’s some good job for a 22-year old – to be expected to do nothing, and be paid 3494zł. Some say that PiS is unable to deliver their promise of Good Change, but look, the world of opportunities has opened for young people here: it is enough to be a son of a minister’s friend and you can earn a decent wage without a need of lifting a finger!
This text was published in Britske Listy.
Photo: Przemysław Czopor via Wikipedia (CC 3.0)
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