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Press review: Global reception of new Polish government

14.12.2023 14:30
A selection of responses from the world's press to the new Polish government headed by Prime Minister Donald Tusk. 
Премьер Польши Д. Туск Фото: PAP/Marcin Obara

A selection of reactions to the new Polish government from the press around the world

The New York Times

The liberal-establishment New York Times provides a balanced overview emphasizing that Law and Justice has kept up its accusations that Tusk is an agent, representing foreign interests, even after Tusk's government was sworn in. The paper does not state but implies with words like "incessant" that these attacks were political propaganda.  

The NYT suggests that the new government will have difficulties because Law and Justice is entrenched in key bodies like the Prosecutor's Office and the Central Bank.

Several international papers have picked up on the most embarrassing episodes in the last few days of Polish politics and the New York Times includes mention of Jarosław Kaczyński's angry accusation that Tusk is "just a German agent". The paper discusses this moment in the context of another article - a portrait of Donald Tusk. The article emphasizes something very "American" about Tusk - his multiple identities: as a Pole, a Kashubian, a son of Gdańsk and a European.


According to the Polish channel "Kremlinka Show" which reviews Russian media regularly, Russian media has above all played down the significance of the change of government in neighbouring Poland. More neutral Russian articles have focussed on Tusk's statement of loyalty to Ukraine in his opening exposé. Other references concerning Poland included: that Law and Justice was referred to mostly as a "nationalist" party, that Putin did not send congratulations to Tusk and that Tusk's first planned trip besides Brussels is to Estonia, a key neighbour of Russia. 

Le Monde

Several European papers have characterised the opposition of Law and Justice (PiS) with Civic Platform (PO) as above all between Euro-sceptical and pro-European voters:

The Guardian

The liberal-left Guardian characterised the new Polish coalition as "progressive" and "liberal", avoiding the fact that Law and Justice's popularity has above all been due to its extensive social programs (similarly to other ostensibly right-wing parties such as India's BJP.) This social spending places Law and Justice on the left of the traditional UK spectrum - uncomfortable bedfellows for the Guardian. 

Like several international papers, the Guardian has focussed attention on Grzegorz Braun:

"Soon after he [Tusk] spoke, however, the proceedings were plunged into chaos when a far-right MP used a fire extinguisher to put out Hanukkah candles in the parliament, leading the speaker to exclude him from the sitting. Condemning Grzegorz Braun of the far-right Confederation party, Tusk said the incident was “unacceptable” and “a disgrace”."

Sources: The Guardian, Le Monde, The New York Times, Kremlinka Show