EU summit: Poland cries blackmail over subsidies

EU summit: Poland cries blackmail over subsidies

EU summit: Poland cries blackmail over subsidies

Written by Keshala Dias

11 Mar, 2017 | 6:41 am

Polish PM Beata Szydlo has accused the French President of trying to blackmail her country, in a row over Thursday’s re-election of EU leader Donald Tusk.

At the end of an EU summit, she said it was unacceptable for Francois Hollande to threaten to stop funds because Poland was “not behaving properly”.

Poland had tried but failed to stop Tusk’s re-election, and refused to endorse the summit’s joint statement.

Szydlo also warned partners Poland would not accept a multi-speed Europe.

She said the EU faced new divisions if stronger nations tried to integrate more among themselves at the expense of weaker ones like Poland and fellow ex-communist countries in the east.

Friday’s talks in Brussels focused on the future of the post-Brexit EU.

EU members discussed making a joint declaration that should stress EU unity when they meet in Rome on 25 March.

Why the accusations of blackmail?

Poland’s failure to endorse the summit joint statement reportedly led to a confrontation over dinner on Thursday evening, with Hollande saying that richer Western nations were helping to pay for Poland’s development.

“If someone says ‘you’re not behaving properly so you won’t get the money’ – that’s unacceptable,” Szydlo told a news conference on Friday.

She also took a swipe at Hollande’s personal popularity.

“Am I supposed to take seriously the blackmail of a president who has a 4% approval rating and who soon won’t be President?”

Courtesy: BBC

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