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PM rejects Obama claim that Poland has become authoritarian state

09.06.2021 08:10
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has invited Barack Obama to come to Poland and see it for himself after the former US president said the country has become an authoritarian state.
Barack Obama.
Barack Obama. Photo: EPA/ERIK S. LESSER

"It's enough to come here, and not to read some coverage that I think decidedly distorts the image of Poland," said Morawiecki, whose conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) came to power in late 2015.

Morawiecki was responding to comments by Obama during an interview with US broadcaster CNN.

Obama said: "All of us as citizens have to recognize that the path towards an undemocratic America is not going happen in just one bang. It happens in a series of steps.

"And when you look at what's happened in places like Hungary and in Poland, that obviously did not have the same democratic traditions that we did, they weren't as deeply rooted, and yet as recently as ten years ago were functioning democracies, and now essentially have become authoritarian."

CNN presenter Anderson Cooper remarked: "Democracy doesn't always die in a military coup. Democracy dies at the ballot box." Obama replied: "That's exactly right."

"Vladimir Putin gets elected with a majority of Russian voters. But none of us would claim that's the kind of democracy that we want," Obama added.

Asked by reporters about the former US president's comments, Morawiecki said that anyone who "looks at Poland closely" will see a country that has opened up its economy to the whole of society, departing from a neoliberal model, and making it easier to access jobs and capital.

He added: "I think that the former president of the United States, Barack Obama, will notice this and many other things if he came here and looked closely at how beautifully Poland is developing today. And this did not happen by accident, it did not happen by accident while PiS was in power."


Source: PAP