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article imagePoland's Kaczynski calls Macron a 'celebrity politician'

By AFP     Oct 4, 2017 in World

The powerful leader of Poland's conservative governing party said he believes French President Emmanuel Macron is more of a "celebrity" than a "responsible politician" in an interview published Wednesday.

Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski used the criticism, which he did not back up with any examples, to explain his opposition to introducing a presidential system in Poland, as desired by Polish President Andrzej Duda.

"Unfortunately nowadays presidential elections often turn into a sort of plebiscite won not by a responsible politician but rather by a celebrity politician," Kaczynski, who is widely regarded as Poland's de facto decision-maker, told the nationalist newspaper Gazeta Polska.

"The example of France shows in a striking way how much bad can come of such a situation," Kaczynski added, without elaborating.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski  the leader of Poland's governing party  opposes
introducing a presidential ...
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland's governing party, opposes introducing a presidential system
JANEK SKARZYNSKI, AFP/File

Warsaw and Paris have been at odds since 2016, when the PiS government cancelled a multi-billion euro contract for 50 military helicopters from French aeronautics giant Airbus.

More recently, the two European Union members sparred over Macron's proposals to overhaul a controversial EU rule on sending workers abroad.

Macron said in August that Poland was "a country that has decided to go against European interests in many areas" and risks finding itself "on the margins" of the EU in the future.

Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo responded at the time by calling Macron's criticisms "arrogant", before adding in September: "It really worries me that the French president is currently undermining the pillars of the European Union and trying to introduce protectionism."

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