ELECTIONS IN PATRIOTIC PODKARPACIE
An interview with Zdzisław Stanisław Pupa, a candidate for the Senate of the polish Republic, on behalf of the Law and Justice party, an inhabitant of a village in Podkarpacie, an activist of Solidary of Individual Farmers, a former chairman of the Agricultural Chamber, a local governor in the Council in Podkarpacie, now a secretary of the Municipal Office in Dębica. I will add: my friend from the Deputies and Senators bench
CZESŁAW RYSZKA: - Zdzisław, I know you as a man of strong, Christian opinions, of a strong character, for whom such values as honesty, diligence, solidarity and patriotism, mean a lot. What is this piece of the world for you, which is called Podkarpacie? It is true that young Poles in Podkarpacie are not ashamed of Polishness? What is the opinion about you and your neighbours?
ZDZISŁAW PUPA: - In my region we are related to our Mother Homeland, so also to this piece of the land, to the Polish village which is patriotic, like a family and which is traditionally believing. I have come out from this land, I have such view till today and I defend regardless of where I am and what I do. Holding many posts and social functions did not distracted me from the village life: I and my wife run a big agricultural household. What is characteristic for us, people of Podkarpacie, is caring for respect to each other and another man. If Podkarpacie is thought to be a bastion of patriotism, it is mainly the merit of the family, the Church and the school. And, as it concerns being ashamed of Polishness among young people, I blame the anti-Polish policy of our neighbours for it and lack of promotion of patriotic attitudes in media or schools, as well as passivity among us, and often stupidity. I will remind the film ‘Gleanings’, in which we show a false picture of the Polish village for our money. Shortly speaking, in this case we behaved like useful idiots.
– You are saying about the lack of historical policy of the government?
– Poland must be active outside. Not only is it forbidden in the interest of Germany, Russia or Ukraine to agree on accusing us of uncommitted crimes, but the truth should be proclaimed and proved scientifically. If we do not do it, it will turn out in a dozen years that the Germans were victims, and we – the culprits of the Second World War. Therefore, the historically uneducated young people are ashamed of Polishness.
– If we are talking about neglects of the authority, I will ask: what don’t you like, what decisions of the current government are incompatible with your opinions?
– Enumerating mistakes of the government of the Civic Platform and Polish Peasant Party, it would take us a long time, but we can only look at the growing poverty and unemployment, as well as demographic collapse. Poland is dying as a nation and a country. It is clearly seen on the example of the Polish village.
– That’s it. You are a specialist in agriculture, you have been a representative of the Environment Commission in the Senate. I admired how skilfully and easily you used to conduct debates. Let’s point to the mistakes of the government in the agricultural policy.
– In order to have a full picture, first the numbers: in the years 2005 – 2007, that is, during the government of the Law and Justice party, nearly 3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product from budget was spent on agriculture, which would make 45-47 milliard zlotys annually now. At present only 1.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product is spent and with money of the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund. Conclusion: the Polish village must be capitalized, especially that after joining the European Union, Polish farmers were treated with neglect: subsidies were deliberately lower, and just in the beginning, the Polish farmer was not competitive. Consequently, many households failed, agriculture stopped being beneficial. Even today the government cannot support small and medium-sized farms: only big farms or the ones with a specialized production have a chance.
– What should be improved in the agricultural policy in your opinion?
– One of the chances is organic farming, but it also requires more input of work, that is, political support. When our market is being flooded by cheap agricultural products from other countries, we must pursue our own responsible policy, that is, support ecological farms which are traditional and, first of all, native, by preventing the cheaper import.
In the recent years we have become importers our of exporters of agricultural products. In other countries there are simply higher subsidies, therefore their products are cheaper. The example is sugar. We used to produce 2million tonnes of sugar in Poland, with purchase of 1.6 million tonnes. We exported the surplus. Today we use the same amount of sugar, but we produce 1.4 million tonnes, the deficit is complemented by import and not because farmers do not produce beetroots, but only because such barriers for farming were created. As it concerns production of milk or beef, Podkarpacie was self-sufficient, we used to send the surplus to other regions. Now 40 per cent of products must be imported.
– The village is not only the problem of the land, but also a difficult access to medical care, schools, infrastructure…
– Yes, the village is not only agricultural production, but a lot of problems of inhabitants with the access to schools, which are being liquidated because of lack of money, as well as hospitals and medical centres which are often in far-away towns. Local governments do not receive money for more and more duties, they do not have any funds to develop the road and transport infrastructure. For this reason, the Polish village is endangered by the slowdown of development, whereas village children are endangered by a worse start.
– The time of harvest has ended. Farmers revolt because of low, unbeneficial prices of purchase. How does it happen that prices in the market are growing, but they are falling among producers, that is, farmers? Can we say about a conspiracy of importers against Polish farmers?
– I will say in this way: the Polish farmer needs a sense of stability. The European Union has a system which allows a farmer to have a permanent level of income, subsidies for processing and provides sales of products for stable prices, guaranteeing further functioning. In Poland there is not this stability which would give a farmer a guarantee for achieving suitable income, regardless of the weather. Last year a turnip was sold for 1.8 thousand zlotys per a tonne, now it is 1 thousand zlotys per a tonne. The same concerns cereals, fruits and vegetables, the fall of prices reaches 50 per cent from the previous year. With the growing prices of agricultural production, fertilizers, pesticides, fuels, farmers lose – instead of earn.
– We should refer the above-mentioned accusations to the whole Polish economy, to the lack of the suitable economic policy.
– Certainly, for years we have been privatizing Polish companies, hoping for the so-called foreign investors. It turned out that many of these companies collapsed because foreign owners meant only the Polish market of sales. Others, which have been functioning till now, are transferring their profits abroad: about 100 milliard zlotys earned in Poland get to the budget of other countries. If this capital remained in Poland, we could develop dynamically. Germany, Norway, France or America care about their citizens. They protect their companies, they allow only companies paying taxes in their countries for a tender. Poland does not protect its market.
– You are a candidate from the Law and Justice party for the Senate. You were also a senator from this party. What do you think about the program of the Law and Justice party presented at the June Congress of this party?
– I think the program of the Law and Justice party is a chance and an idea for the economy development and a better life of a family. During the congress, program suggestions were presented, among the others: a return to a budget financing medical service, liquidation of junior high schools, fusion of the functions of the Justice Minister and the General Procurator again, supporting areas destroyed by transformation, such as the Silesia or Łódź. But the plan of the Law and Justice party is far-reaching – its aim is to help Poland out of the crisis, it concerns a great program of new Polish Republic.
– The chairman of the Law and Justice party, Jarosław Kaczyński, being in Podkarpacie, asked electors to give their votes for you. He said something important: that supporting you should be a ‘pre-decision’ of electors , that is, it must be supporting not only a person, but also ‘a kind of a concept, a kind of a very simple idea: so that all this what is happening in our country and around our country changed’. What do you think the chairman meant?
– I think he referred to the dismissal of the previous marshal of the Polish Peasant Party in Podkarpacie last year, who was accused of bribery by the procurators in Lubin. Moreover, the chairman of the Law and Justice party, Jarosław Kaczyński suggested that the present government of the Civic Platform and the Polish Peasant Party is leading Poland to the lack of its sovereignty – we can mention the appalling growth of foreign debts. Shortly speaking, in these elections my compatriots will give an answer whether they want, for example, to fight unemployment, rebuild the Polish industry, re-making Polish banks Polish, take care about the Polish prestige in the world…. It is a kind of ‘pre-decision’ before the final decision in the European elections we are going to face up, as well as local, parliamentary and presidential elections. If a candidate of the Civic Platform and the Polish Peasant Party wins the elections for the Senate, it will be a signal for the government that it can keep on demolishing morals of the Polish youth and treat the Polish economy as a political loot.
– Thank you for the interview and I wish you a success in the election. For Podkarpacie and Poland.
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P. S. I will remind readers of ‘Niedziela’ that the complementary elections for the Senate will be on 8 September this year, in a district comprising the districts of Podkarpacie. The elections are necessary, because the previous senator of the Law and Justice party Władysław Ortyl, saving the honour of Podkarpacie, which had been endangered by a scandal of the Civic Platform and the Polish Peasant Party and the Democratic Leftist Alliance, was elected a marshal of the province of Podkarpacie.
The candidate of the Law and Justice party to the Senate is ZdzisławStanisław Pupa, who is an experienced parliamentarian, in the years 1997 – 2001, an MP of the Electoral Action Solidarity, and later in the years 2007-2011 a senator of the Law and Justice party. I will add that the number of candidates in the rightist party proves a kind of an irrational way of thinking and action, as if we thought that the present government is the best one.