Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Trump's Off to Poland And He's Got the Neighbours Worried

Old man Trump has decided to squeeze in a visit to Poland before the start of the G20 summit in Hamburg later this week. Some European leaders worry that Trump may wind up endorsing a regime that has even less interest in constitutional, liberal democracy than Trump himself.

Trump is due to arrive in Poland on Wednesday evening and deliver a major speech in Warsaw on Thursday afternoon. He will also attend a gathering of central European, Baltic state and Balkan leaders, before heading to the G20 summit in Hamburg.

Poland’s ruling rightwing Law and Justice party (PiS) has struggled to contain its excitement since the visit was announced last month. Defence minister Antoni Macierewicz said it showed “how much Poland’s place in geopolitics and world politics has changed”.

But there is unease in Brussels and other European capitals that Trump’s visit will be seen as an endorsement – tacit or otherwise – of a government which has repeatedly clashed with EU institutions over its assault on independent democratic institutions, and its refusal to accept migrants under quotas agreed to by its pro-European predecessor.

“After a few months of his presidency, Trump has already jeopardised the Paris agreement on the climate change, endangered the EU-US and Nato relationships, and now he risks blowing up the already very delicate situation in Poland and eastern Europe,” said Gianni Pitella, leader of the socialist bloc in the European parliament.

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