Suitors circle a Poland in limbo

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Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"


Like Germany's voters one week ago, Poles opted for change in parliamentary elections at the weekend - but not too much or too fast. Their wish to have it both ways now looks likely to produce an inexperienced coalition government mired in contradictions, beset by external challenges, and at war with itself.
By giving the edge to the welfare state conservatives of the Law and Justice party (PiS), voters backed away from the more radical reformist ideas of the Civic Platform which advocated a 15% flat tax, public spending cuts and swift adoption of the euro. And by humiliating the corruption-tainted Democratic Left Alliance government, whose support fell by 30%, the electorate bade a second goodbye to communism, reformed or otherwise, while in theory re-embracing traditional cultural values championed by the PiS leader and likely prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
But Mr Kaczynski needs the Civic Platform's support if he is to command a parliamentary majority. Prolonged wrangling is now likely over fiscal policy, privatisation, job creation and welfare provision. Nor does his social conservatism, including pro-church, anti-abortion and anti-gay positions, sit easily with ambitions to place Poland in the vanguard of modern European states.
The fact that the two leading parties remain locked in a fight for the Polish presidency that will be decided on October 9 also presages continuing friction at the top. "Civic Platform and Law and Justice talk of forming a coalition with the other, then launch an attack on the other party in the next breath," said Wojciech Kosc, an analyst for the Transitions Online website. "The attacks are so strong and the differences so pronounced that they may not be able to coalesce into a workable government."
Poland's confusions, if unresolved, will dismay neighbours such as Ukraine, the Baltic states, and pro-democracy activists in Belarus who look to Warsaw for a strong lead in rolling back Russian influence. Already fraught relations with Moscow are unlikely to have been helped by Mr Kaczynski's comparison last week of President Vladimir Putin's Russia to Nazi Germany.
Question marks also now hang over Poland's 1,500 troops in Iraq. Most Poles want them to leave and they are currently scheduled to withdraw on December 31.
The new Polish government could also have a big say on EU budget reform and the pace of enlargement, with Bulgaria, Romania and others hoping for Warsaw's support. Perceived British obstructionism over its rebate at June's failed EU summit was blamed in Warsaw for jeopardising nearly £6bn in structural funding for Poland. The new government is likely to increase pressure on London to cut a deal.
More broadly, the victory for what Mr Kaczynski calls "social Poland" carries more than an echo of Gerhard Schröder's election comeback in Germany. The result may in turn encourage attempts by France's prime minister and presidential hopeful, Dominique de Villepin, to forge a middle path between neo-liberal or "Blairite" economic remedies and dirigiste "big government".
As the floating by Mr de Villepin's rival, Nicolas Sarkozy, of new post-constitution models for enhanced European integration indicates, Poland is increasingly courted within the EU as an important ally. But all her suitors may now face the same problem: how to get a straight answer.

back away from- wycofać się z
beset- dręczyć, prześladować
bid, bade, bidden (a goodbye/ a farewell)- żegnać
coalesce- łączyć się, jednoczyć
contradiction- sprzeczność
dirigiste- planowanie i kontrola ekonomii przez państwo
dismay- przerażać, powodować konsternację
enhance- polepszać, usprawniać
fraught- napięty
friction- tarcia, nieporozumienia
in limbo- w zawieszeniu, w stanie zawieszenia
indicate- wskazywać
mired- pogrążony (np. w klopotach)
perceive- dostrzegać, postrzegać, zauważać
presage- oznaczać, zapowiadać
rebate- rabat, opust, zwrot nadpłaconej sumy
remedy- środek zaradczy, naprawa, lekarstwo
suitor- powód (osoba wnosząca powództwo)
swift- szybki, prędki
tainted- splamiony
unresolved- nierozwiązany, nierozstrzygnięty
vanguard- awangarda
wrangle- kłócić się, sprzeczać


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