Poland’s coming election highlights anti-German sentiments
There is an election campaign in Poland. But anti-German resentments can be heard in Poland not only during election campaigns. The war in Ukraine has revitalized previous frontline positions – even if they are dead wrong.
Published: August 23, 2022, 9:36 am
The head of the Polish National Bank, Adam Glapiński, provided an example of this in an interview in the right-wing Polish magazine Gazeta Polska. In it, the most important economist in a neighboring country spreads remarkable theories about the alleged interests of the Germans, which suggest that German foreign policy is pro-Russian.
Glapiński says that Russia’s attack on Ukraine did not change anything in the “German plan” to divide Central Europe into two spheres of influence: one Russian and one German. “Britain’s exit from the EU has paved the way for this scenario to materialize. And so a balance works in Europe based on the cooperation of two empires: Russia and Germany, with countries in the middle that lie in the sphere of influence of the two powers,” claimed the head of the National Bank.
Glapiński concluded that it is therefore essential for the Germans that Russia wins the war against Ukraine, because this is the only way this geopolitical plan can continue. “The emergence of a Ukrainian state – strong, democratic, armed, ambitious, in alliance with the United States – does not fit into this scenario. I want to make one thing clear. This is not necessarily due to any special national characteristics of the Germans or to their bad character, their dark intentions, etc. It is about the politics of a country with such great economic and demographic potential that simply does not fit into the Europe that the founding fathers presented to the European Union and was based on balance, on the right of every country to have a say.”
The chief economist also assumed that Germany was working to ensure that Poland was not allowed to behave autonomously and be allowed to have its own currency. Brussels is governed by Germany and wants to force the euro on Poland in order to take away the country’s autonomy. The Polish opposition is laced with communists – as are the leading forces in Germany and the EU. Strong economic autonomy for Poland was not in the interest of German foreign policy.
Parliamentary elections will be held in Poland in autumn 2023 to elect members of the Sejm and Senate, although they can be held sooner if a snap election is called. The lack of billions of euros from the EU, a slowing economy and high inflation pose mounting difficulties for the ruling PiS party.
German support for Ukraine declining
Glapiński must also have noticed dwindling support in Germany for Ukraine. European states are becoming increasingly reluctant to promise further arms deliveries to the Zelensky administration.
In Europe, Poland has been particularly generous, having so far supplied Kiev with arms worth a total of 1,8 billion euros. Thus, Poland has supported Ukraine almost as intensively as the US, which has sent weapons worth 2,06 billion euros so far. Total commitments from the US so far amount to goods worth around 8,63 billion euros.
Basically, the difference between promised and actual deliveries is significant. Many countries are no longer making any new commitments, but instead are supplying material that was previously committed, according to Christoph Trebesch, head of the Kiel “Ukraine Support Tracker” team.
Germany is particularly hesitant to deliver further weapon systems. As of last week, only five of the 15 Panzerhaubitzen 2000 that had been sent to Ukraine were said to be operational. The German government has been reluctant to make further deliveries of heavy arms.
The Bundeswehr can no longer supply weapons and military equipment to Ukraine from its own stocks, the German Defense Ministry said in response to a joint statement by three Bundestag deputies who had called for more supplies.
If one measures aid commitments in relation to the gross domestic product, Kiev was particularly strongly supported by Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania and Norway. There, the Ukraine aid accounted for between 0,35 and 0,9 percent of the respective economic output. Germany ranks only 16th.
The waning support from the West is another indication that behind the scenes a change in Western policy is on the horizon. Observers also point out that the arms deliveries are already affecting the defense capabilities of some countries. By autumn at the latest, when the dominant issues will be inflation, energy costs and the threat of energy shortages, it will probably no longer be possible to keep up the previous level of support for Ukraine.
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