Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the opposition party Law and Justice, has called for November 11 to become a celebration of ‘true Polish patriots’, during his visit to Kraków.
Mr Kaczyński was in Kraków for Independence Day. He visited the tombs of his late brother and former president Lech Kaczyński, his wife Maria, and Józef Piłsudski.
Speaking to reporters during his visit, Mr Kaczyński said patriots who wanted a future for a ‘great Poland’ should not allow the country’s traditions and strengths to be overcome by ‘policies that led to Polish interests being abandoned’.
He also accused some marchers in Warsaw of hijacking Independence Day celebrations, as violence flared in the capital.
Speaking of the death of Lech Kaczyński in the Smoleńsk air crash of April 2010, Mr Kaczyński added: “He was after 1989 the only president to constantly practise the ideals of Polish independence and deceny… counting Poland as a major state both in international politics and domestic politics.”
Supporters of both PiS and Civic Platform (PO) exchanged hostile chants and displayed opposing banners during gatherings at both Wawel and Plac Matejki.
At the Independence Day mass at Wawel Cathedral, Cardinal Dziwisz warned against ‘lavish temptations in church, political and social life’. He said: “This festival is not only a remembrance, but also an examination of conscience of how we live in a free country. Since regaining freedom in 1989 this has been a free country. Not to recognise this would be a misunderstanding and lack of appreciation.”
- Independence Day celebrations in Kraków (krakowpolska.wordpress.com)