Interview with Poland's Prime Minister: 'Europe has run out of gas'

Below is an excerpt from Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's recent interview w/ Jan Puhl of Der Spiegal.

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DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, since your party, Law and Justice (PiS), has been in power in Warsaw, Poland has suffered from a bad image. It used to be the model pupil among the new European Union member states, but now it is considered un-democratic, nationalistic and quick-tempered. What happened?

Morawiecki: Those are opinions and not facts. Poland is a democratic nation-state like all the other countries of Europe. And we are pragmatic. We have a problem with a part of the European political elite and with journalists, but not with the normal people. For example, 97 percent of all foreign investors would come to us again. You are right, though, that we need to make a greater effort to explain our policies. We are facing major changes in Poland. Now, we would like to see the majority of our population benefit from our economic growth. Just because foreign observers used to praise Poland does not mean that the policies of the time were also good for the majority of the population.

DER SPIEGEL: But Poland isn't being criticized for its social policies or its administrative reforms. It is being criticized because your judicial reform, in the EU's view, violates the principle of the rule of law. That's why your country is facing EU proceedings that could end with the loss of voting rights in Brussels.

Morawiecki: We consider this allegation to be false. According to polls, three-quarters of Poles consider the judiciary to be "bad" or "very bad." We are now improving our communication and have revived the dialogue with the European Commission. We have already achieved improvements and Brussels is now

acting more as a partner and less as a schoolmaster. We will also attempt to address the concerns point by point and clarify our position.

To read the full interview, visit Der Spiegel.