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Poland's Tusk named most influential person in Europe

29.11.2023 13:00
Polish opposition leader Donald Tusk has been named the most influential person in Europe by the Politico news service.
Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

Tusk, a former prime minister and former European Council president, is also Poland’s presumed next prime minister after a strong showing in October’s parliamentary elections that gave his coalition a clear path to power, Politico reported.

It said Tusk "is fighting for the soul of his nation, pushing to move it forward, while facing an opponent who wishes to pull it back."

In the process of reshaping his country, "the charismatic 66-year-old" is "changing the landscape of power in Europe," Politico said.

Tusk's "performance in the EU’s fifth most-populous country" shows that "even in a flawed system, it is possible to beat back entrenched populists on a platform of returning to the mainstream," according to Politico.

'Reverberations of Tusk’s return would be felt around Europe'

The news service also said that the "reverberations of Tusk’s return would be felt around Europe," including in Brussels, "where he’s well known and liked" after his stint as European Council president from 2014 to 2019.

"If Tusk does manage to form a government, he has vowed to undo his predecessors’ court reforms — a move that would likely see the EU drop its various attempts to rein in Warsaw — and shepherd Poland out of the deep freeze and back into the heart of the EU’s decision-making," Politico said.

With Tusk back at Poland’s helm, "the Poland-France-Germany security troika could get back to business," while Hungary's Orbán "would lose one of his most important partners," it predicted.

'Kyiv breathing a sigh of relief'

"The prospect of a Tusk-led Poland would see Kyiv breathing a sigh of relief," according to Politico.

"While Warsaw has strongly backed Ukraine over the past two years of war, in recent months tensions have boiled over Ukraine’s agricultural exports," Politico said.

It noted that Tusk, "a longtime Russia hawk," has called for "unwavering support" for Ukraine.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, starting the largest military conflict in Europe since World War II.

Wednesday is day 644 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: pap.plpolitico.eu