by MONITOR
ONE of the fundamental reasons for the creation of what has become the European Union was the need to bring together, in constructive economic relationships, nations that had fought each other twice in thirty years and in doing so engulfed the world in war. For many people peace between France and Germany has been the single most important dividend of the EU and a confidence has grown up as the EU has expanded that all old enmities were disappearing. But that confidence has been shaken in recent days as a result of the Polish government's tactics in seeking a revision of the EU's voting rules. It is not so much the argument about differing voting systems that has mattered; rather it has been the accompanying justification from Polish sources that has alarmed observers. The existing voting strengths of individual countries depend on their populations and Poland wants this changed. In a broadcast on Polish radio the prime minister Jaroslav Kaczynski told his audience, “If Poland had not had to live through the years 1939-45 it would today be a country of 66 million instead of 38 million”. Mr Kaczynski continued: “It was the Germans who inflicted unimaginable injury, terrible harm on Poland. Incomprehensible crime. Poles like Germans while Germans do not like Poles.” Whatever compromise is reached on voting methods, Mr Kaczynski's illogical and bitter remarks will sour relations in the EU for some time to come.

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