Tag Archive | "EU"

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No More Tractor Barricades

Posted on 04 November 2009 by admin

By Wojciech Kosc

The last time the Polish farmers’ unions managed to make headlines was last year, when one of the most radical announced a “warning protest” of 3,000 farmers in Warsaw against the “critical situation” in Polish agricultural and rural areas. When the day of the protest arrived, however, the number of protesters had dwindled to a mere 1,000.

It was a far cry from the early 1990s, when protests led by Andrzej Lepper paralyzed Poland, as he led farmers to block roads. Populism calculated to gain the support of rural and small-town Poland later elevated Lepper to the posts of deputy speaker of the Polish parliament, deputy prime minister, and minister of agriculture.

In retrospect it looks as if Lepper’s rise was the swan song of populists’ efforts to build their support on the parlous situation of Poland’s rural communities. Continue reading …

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Dirty Laundry

Posted on 13 May 2009 by admin

One commentator says his country has learned some hard lessons since the Velvet Revolution but wonders how much wiser it is for all that.

By Martin Ehl

The chuckles and incomprehension about the fall of the Czech government in the middle of the country’s EU presidency slowly have died down. It had already become a little tiring to explain to foreigners how it transpired that Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek’s government failed a vote of confidence because of the particular interests of a few individuals. Now another foul whiff of local politicking wafts our way – this time from Poland. Continue reading …

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