The ruling politicians have no ambition
Mariusz Ksiazek talks to Mariusz Blaszczak, Head of the Parliamentary Club of the Law and Justice Party.
Mariusz Ksiazek: – In an opinion poll conducted on the web page of ‘Niedziela’ we have asked whether house budgets let our Readers go on holiday. As many as three-fourths of them have answered that they cannot afford such luxury. Can you see any solution to improve this state of affairs?
Mariusz Blaszczak: – We deal with a following situation: all things have higher prices and the government of Donald Tusk has increased taxes. Almost half of Polish children cannot go on holiday. These are the official statistics. The problem becomes stratified when children go to school since their books and equipment are expensive. But the solution of the problem is a task of the Polish state. The government should focus on helping parents so that more money remains in house budgets. When the Law and Justice Party (PiS) was in power we chose this direction, e.g., we introduced allowances for children. Of course, it concerned those who had income, speaking straight – have income to deduct the allowance from. But it is the right direction. The programme of PiS includes elements that serve to support families financially. Today it happens that mothers are forced to work because fathers cannot find jobs. We are dealing with an over 12 % unemployment. And the task of the state is to create conditions to have more and not fewer work places.
– In Croatia, which Benedict XVI has visited recently, the family model is 2 plus 3. In the nearest parliamentary elections in Croatia there is a new party, party based on the movement of Catholic families to represent the interests of Croatian Catholics in politics. Can you see you party in a similar role after the autumn elections in Poland?
– By all means! We represent people who have large families. I have three children and know how much I pay for their living but they are our future, our nation’s future, and the task of the state is to help families financially. In the context of the Polish presidency in the EU I have said that one of its priorities should be to create a strategy supporting families, especially multiple children families, multi-generational families. The European Union has funds concerning various programmes but such programmes have not been formulated here. Therefore, Poland’s task should be to create these conditions. If PiS has any influence on what is happening in our country it will promote this programme.
– In Hungary the government of FIDESZ headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán shows that when the political environment is mobilised the tendencies aiming at laicisation can be restricted. Another important thing is the attempt made by the Hungarian government to preserve its economic independence in Europe. We have heard about the plan to repurchase from the Russians some shares in one of the big strategic Hungarian companies. Is such a return to Christian values in politics and nation, which Hungary shows, possible? Is it still possible to secure Poland’s economic and national interests in the international arena?
– It is possible but we should hurry since the government of the Civil Platform and the Polish Peasants’ Party coalition sells out our national properties. PiS says very clearly that we are against that, and our party also says that capital groups, which on the one hand, would create work places, for instance for the alumni of Polish schools, not to force young people to leave abroad, and on the other hand, would constitute our policy for the future, should be created around the national properties. Since demography decides about the retirement allowances of those who are still in their prime and will retire in 20-30 years. Demography is also the matter whether Poland will be an important player in the international area or not. The present government diminishes Poland’s role in the international arena. Our neighbours do not treat us as partners but there are such possibilities. We must simply desire that.
– One of the elements of the pro-family policy is education. How does the Law and Justice Party interpret the changes the government has introduced? What direction concerning education will PiS take if your party wins the elections?
– We evaluate very critically what is going on today. We are against forcing 6-year-old children to begin school. We are convinced that such a decision should be taken by parents. By the way, there is a social bill concerning this issue and we are going to support the bill. We are also against limitations of the programme of history lessons in schools. This activity will cause bad consequences for future generations, for upbringing, for knowledge, for the nation’s identity. Therefore, if we seize power we will return to the idea that history should be one of the priority subjects in schools. We also think that the upbringing role of school as well as the role disciplining children and young people should be maintained. Schools cannot realise the slogan, ‘Do what you want.’ Schools should bring children up; should teach and also form young people in the national awareness, in traditions and should provide sufficient knowledge to prepare alumni to work and the preparation should be as good as the preparation of their peers in the West. Thus schools should teach and bring up young people.
– Since 1 July 2011 Poland has been presiding over the EU Council. If PiS were in power what would be the priorities of the Polish presidency?
– Let us begin with matters connected with the situation of the Polish agriculture. Well, we think that the subsidies should be made equal: Polish farmers should receive the same subsidies as the farmers in Western Europe. This diversity contradicts the principle of uniform market of the European Union. The other matter is demography that cannot be solved by immigration as it is happening in Western Europe. The model ‘multi culti’ has not simply worked out. Thus we must do our best to incline families to have more children. We should create a EU strategy supporting multiple children families and multi-generational families.
– In the context of the Polish presidency PiS had suggestions connected with the Climate Packet.
– Yes, we must return to the negotiations concerning the EU Energy and Climate Packet. The acceptance of this packet in 2008 by the government of Donald Tusk was a serious mistake. The consequences to implement this packet will be very harmful for all of us because it will cause an increase in energy prices. And we have already had high energy prices. So it will affect families.
– The Law and Justice Party has its own vision of the European Union.
– One can ask whether the European Union is to be only a union of states connected by common interests or also by common values. We opt for common values as uniting the countries of the European Union and that’s why we have proposed to create a series of seminars, debates on the teaching of Blessed John Paul II, connected with Europe, with Europe’s Christian roots. It is a very serious and rich legacy that we, Poles, should use.
– It seems that Poland’s vital interest is the priorities, prepared by the Law and Justice Party, which should be presented and realised. Have any of your suggestions been accepted by the ruling party?
– Unfortunately, none. We heard Prime Minister Tusk saying general formulations. One can have the impression that his government will realise what has been prepared in Brussels. It is not an ambitious politics. It has no programmes that would bring something new to the European Union but it is hard to expect anything more ambitious from this cabinet if they focus, as Prime Minister Tusk says himself, on creating a good atmosphere. But firstly, it is dubious whether this atmosphere is good and secondly, there are no concrete results from it for us. Those who govern Poland should be ambitious; they should work for the cause of their nation. If they cannot, there is a way to solve this problem – they should tender their resignation.