Friday

24th Feb 2017

Focus

Polish radicals could get into EU parliament

  • Janusz Korwin-Mikke - known for his bow ties amongst other things (Photo: Piotr Drabik)

An anti-European, economically liberal and socially extremely conservative party is polling to scoop up to three of Poland's seats in the EU elections later this month as it cashes in on the country's protest vote.

The New Right party is headed up by a 72-year old anti-establishment figure, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who has proclaimed that "democracy is stupid".

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"We will sell the site of the European Parliament and turn it into a brothel" is how he describes his aim in the European elections in Do Rzeczy, a weekly. "The creators of this pink decay should be tarred, feathered and hurtled through the streets of Brussels."

Korwin-Mikke is especially popular among voters in their 20s, as his simple solutions appeal to young people. His party is currently polling at 4-6 percent. Reaching the 5 percent electoral threshold means it could win several seats.

In terms of economics, he is an extreme libertarian; making even the American Tea Party look mild by comparison. He believes taxes should be all but abolished and the state should only be responsible for the army and police. He once publicly ate his tax return as a sign of protest.

Korwin-Mikke wants to shut down the "socialist" EU. He would also like to deprive women of their right to vote. He is in favour of capital punishment and a ban on abortion, against civil partnerships and the presence of people with disabilities in public life.

He got involved in politics in the 1960s and was arrested twice for his activity in opposition. When Communism was crumbling in Poland, he created his first libertarian party. Many prominent members of the Civic Platform (PO), which is currently in power, started their career in his grouping, including the government's former spokesman, Pawel Gras, or Slawomir Nitras, an MEP.

No other Polish politician has run in elections so many times: since 1989, he has run for president four times, six times for MP, twice for senator, once for MEP and twice for mayor of Warsaw. He has only won once – in 1991, when he succeeded in getting a seat in the Sejm, Poland's parliament.

He is also known for wearing a bow tie and being a professional bridge payer. When Tomasz Tomczykiewicz (PO) recently mentioned that Korwin-Mikke once drank wine straight from the bottle, he claimed, for revenge, that his competitor had raped the waitress. He later said he was joking.

No political fuel for Poland's far-right

Why is Poland one of the few European countries where far-right parties are almost non-existent? Low immigration and an economy in relatively good shape could be part of the answer.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

News in Brief

  1. Spanish court jails former IMF chief Rato
  2. Macron proposes Nordic-style economic model for France
  3. Germany posts record high budget surplus
  4. Labour ousts Ukip in Brexit homeland
  5. Dutch lower house approves EU-Ukraine treaty
  6. WTO says Russian pork ban was illegal
  7. Belgian nuclear plant made 'significant progress' on safety
  8. Report: Commission gauging EU support for Poland sanctions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  2. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  3. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  4. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  5. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  6. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  7. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  9. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  11. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  12. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play