Is Poland going potty?
OK, so they've got a set of identical twins running the country - unusual, but not necessarily mad - yet they do seem to be ushering in some potentially worrying electoral changes and acting somewhat vindictively towards political opponents.
Now Poland - the largest and likely most important of the new EU member states who joined two years ago - appears to be shifting away from Brussels. This despite the Prime Ministerial Kaczynski twin's vaguely pro-EU tone on his coming to office a few days ago. Now, however, the twins have launched a purge of pro-EU officials, apparently being pitched as an attempt to clamp down on communists. (And no, my anti-EU friends, this is not an excuse for you to churn out the usual tedious "EUSSR" rubbish and claims that the EU is a communist plot in the comments.)
Is this part of the rightwards shift (NYT reg req.) in the country, as seen in the rise of the skinheads in anti-Gay riots and racially-motivated attacks both in Poland and in Germany during the World Cup? Is there something even more sinister at work in this country with a history of, shall we say, "strong leaders"? Or is it merely a childishly petulant toys out of pram moment prompted by those potato jibes from Germany?
Of course the question is, if this right-wing sibling pair move away from Brussels and simultanously start persecuting former communists, where are they going to look for allies? I can hardly imagine Russia's ex-KGB President being too pleased at teaming up with a country trying to remove his former secret police colleagues from positions of influence.
But then again, I'll freely admit to knowing next to nothing about Poland. Some blogs that may help include that of the Economist's Edward Lucas, p3, The Beatroot (currently on holiday), Our Man in Gdansk, and Polish Police and Administrative Corruption. Any others you know of, let me know. Something odd's certainly happening over there, and it will have serious implications for the rest of the EU if Poland goes mental...