Polish political pickle
I’m rather sad to be leaving Poland without properly investigating the latest political turmoil here. Newsnight rang me to ask me to do a piece for next week, but I’ve got to move on to Romania. This means they will probably be reporting on it soon.
What’s happened? The governing Law and Justice Party has lost its coalition partners, and amid accusation and counter-accusation of corruption some very senior people have been arrested. Just before some of them were due to give evidence to an investigation into said corruption.
It’s a bit like Gordon Brown ordering the arrest of David Blunkett, Sir Richard Branson and Sir Robert Mark while Stella Rimington goes on the run. While I haven’t spoken to enough people to write about it properly, Polish colleagues find it all rather depressing: they think the politicians are only concerned with settling trivial old scores by using some of the less salubrious techniques of the old communist regime.
But they argue the country is doing well despite the politicians, and will continue to thrive. If you live in Poland or know about it, tell me what you think. Instead of further investigating this, I am off to Romania to look at what the Common Agricultural Policy has meant for the country since it joined the EU at the beginning of the year.
Mark's report from Poland about a dispute over plans to build a motorway through protected marshland was the first of three on the European Union’s role in environmental protection. From Romania he will travel to Spain, to examine how officials intend to tackle a shortage of water.