Prime Minister Beata Szydło: “Poland will not accept blackmail from the EU!”

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło made international headlines last Wednesday when she told the leaders of the European Union to “[g]et up from your knees and wake up from your lethargy or else every day you will weep over your [dead] children!” But there was a lot more to her speech — which was about the defense of Poland, and backed up her defense minister — than simply her ringing rejection of the EU’s quota of “refugees”.

Ava Lon has translated the prime minister’s entire speech. Below are two videos of it. The first contains excerpts concerning immigration, and the second is the complete speech.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling.


Full speech:

Video transcript (full speech):

00:08   Mr President, Honorable Members of the House,
00:12   today’s debate is a good opportunity
00:16   to discuss the security of Poland.
00:20   Concerning the accusations of the applicants,
00:24   I will keep it pithy: Antoni Macierewicz [Minister of Defense]
00:28   is rebuilding what you ruined.
00:32   He is working on changes
00:36   that will give the Polish army its strength back and security to Poland.
00:40   And I, as Prime Minister of Polish government,
00:44   I expect that he will carry those changes to the end.
00:48   Because this is what Polish people need and what Poland needs.
00:52   It’s a good opportunity to talk
00:56   about security, to talk about this
01:00   security that has fundamental meaning.
01:04   And it should unite us and not divide us,
01:08   no matter which parties, no matter
01:12   what political discussions we are having.
01:16   Precisely this question, of Polish security, our homeland
01:20   should unite us!
01:28   For almost two years we have been successfully implementing the security strategy
01:32   Safe Poland. We are building it on two premises:
01:36   One — a close cooperation with our allies in NATO,
01:40   and at the same time a precise and multi-dimensional development of the Polish army.
01:44   We must create a modern bastion of military technology
01:49   and augment the potential of the staff, but also
01:53   assure that volunteers who serve the homeland are made to feel
01:57   exceptional, for example through the creation of the Territorial Defense Force.
02:01   Those are the elements of this thesis.
02:05   I would also like to go back to the universal message
02:09   that building of a secure Poland is our common duty and responsibility.
02:13   The construction of a safe order should be
02:17   our common goal, of all of us here in this room; regardless of
02:21   our opinions, the differences that divide us,
02:25   of our current political disagreement; we should together agree
02:29   that the security of Polish people is our common
02:33   strategy and indisputable duty.
02:37   It is our priority and goal. There isn’t anything more precious
02:41   than the security of the homeland and the security
02:45   of our citizens. And on that there should be no differences
02:49   of opinions nor the tiniest doubts.
02:53   We politicians are divided by opinions, but we should always be united by concern for
02:57   the commonwealth, for the Polish people, for Poland; for the peace and security
03:01   of the citizens. Together we are responsible for it, no matter whether we are
03:05   in the government or sitting on the benches of the opposition.
03:09   Doubting once again the position of the Polish Minister of Defense
03:13   just before an important meeting with our allies isn’t smart,
03:17   isn’t responsible.
03:21   It is harmful.
03:25   It is not only lack of prudence, it a serious mistake.
03:29   But this is your responsibility, because as you often say,
03:34   “Deeds and words will be remembered,” and for you it will be
03:38   a bitter bill. Games and jokes about this fundamental
03:42   Duty, which is a secure Poland, won’t be left without a judgement.
03:46   Never before has Poland been this supported
03:50   by her allies. The presence of the American Army in Poland,
03:54   our intention to move from Germany to Poland the command
03:58   at the division level, are questions with no precedent.
04:02   For the first time we are stronger through real
04:06   engagement with our allies. Those aren’t
04:10   mere promises of alliance. This is a real engagement,
04:14   and it is also a great success on the part of Minister Antoni Macierewicz.
04:18   Our
04:22   allies in NATO are watching with respect the extent to which we want to
04:26   develop our military potential. We are investing in and developing
04:30   the Polish defense industry. A modern and strong army
04:34   based on the development of a defense industry here in Poland
04:38   is being noticed and appreciated. It was our government that
04:42   invested the most money in the army, and its modernization.
04:46   There was a lot of talk about buying equipment, yes!
04:50   We’re equipping Polish army with modern equipment, and we’re going to continue doing it in future,
04:54   but at the same time we are yoking together security
04:58   and development, because those are two foundations on which we are building the future of Poland.
05:02   And we want to build this future based on
05:07   Polish industry, and also a Polish defense industry. We are not selling
05:11   factories, but rebuilding them, and we will carry on doing it.
05:15   We have signed the biggest contract
05:19   in the history of the Polish defense industry for delivery of equipment
05:23   manufactured by Polish industry. A contract for
05:27   divisional fire modules including (self walking howitzer) Combat Reconnaissance Armored CRAB.
05:31   On May 16, 2017 we signed a contract for
05:35   the delivery of 500 Jelcz cars, destined, among other places,
05:39   for the Territorial Defense Force. A guaranteed part
05:43   of the contract stipulated the purchase of 97 vehicles
05:47   for over 85 million zlotys, and the option of another
05:51   403 trucks is worth over 354 million zlotys.
05:55   We are buying Polish mortars from the Stalowa Wola ironworks
05:59   and rocket systems from the Polish Radar Plant.
06:03   We are engaging Polish industry in creating a Polish anti-missile defense.
06:07   Those are enterprises and investments without precedent.
06:11   For you, you, from the opposition it’s unimaginable!
06:15   because you preferred to destroy the Polish defense industry
06:19   and to sign contracts with companies
06:23   that won’t necessarily be in the best interest of the Polish economy.
06:27   And this won’t happen again!
06:31   Also worth mentioning is
06:36   a blossoming engagement without precedent — in Polish military service.
06:40   The success of the project for military territorial defence is something extraordinary.
06:44   Service for the Homeland deserves the highest praise.
06:48   I am very proud that my government can positively
06:52   answer this extraordinary need for the younger generation!
06:56   Civil Platform calls the Territorial Defense Force,
07:00   I quote: “a harmful concept or a partisan army”.
07:04   It’s impossible to understand this type of thinking!
07:08   To all those young people who
07:12   decided to take up that burden and want to be part of the Territorial Defense Force,
07:16   and they just took their oath, I would like to thank you
07:20   from the bottom of my heart. You are building a new generation of responsible Polish citizens,
07:24   and this is the Poland we want!
07:28   In the context of
07:32   building Polish security it would be hard not to mention
07:36   the method that is considered an efficient way of acting in the face
07:40   of the biggest security crisis of the EU,
07:44   which is the current migration crisis. Today in this room we have been talking this morning
07:48   about security. We talked about the functioning of the security services;
07:52   we are talking about the functioning of the Polish Army.
07:56   We in this government take security very seriously
08:00   as I said earlier, and we consider it the fundamental task,
08:04   this security of Poland and of the Polish People. And we want all services
08:08   to cooperate in those delicate tasks.
08:12   And precisely the migration crisis is the best example
08:16   and the best proof of it. The total difference between
08:21   us and the opposition is this: the government absolutely refuses
08:25   the utopia
08:29   of the uncontrolled opening of our borders. We are able to notice
08:33   the threats that this creates. We think
08:37   that the most efficient help occurs where the problem originated.
08:41   I don’t know what the opposition really has to suggest in this matter.
08:45   You people changed your mind about it so often that it’s hard to tell the truth from manipulation.
08:49   But it’s worth a reminder that the government decisions
08:53   of Civic Platform, and former Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz would today force us to accept
08:57   a considerable number of immigrants, and the Polish people
09:01   don’t want that today, and we will not betray them!
09:05   [calls from the room : Disgrace!]
09:13   We want to help all the more, and we are helping,
09:17   and we will deploy our humanitarian aid. We are initiating
09:21   an international project. We are engaged in helping in Syria
09:25   and everyone there, where people need it, but
09:29   we will not accept, Poland will not accept blackmail
09:33   from the EU!
09:37   We won’t,
09:41   we won’t participate
09:45   in the madness of Brussels’ elites. We want to help PEOPLE
09:49   and NOT the political elites!
09:53   And I repeat,
09:57   I repeat: we are helping and we will help,
10:02   but only those who need help and wait for it over there.
10:06   Polish border guards are engaged
10:10   in protecting the outer borders of the EU.
10:14   We are engaged in international projects.
10:18   All the services, all the services which are tasked with security in Poland
10:22   are engaged in this: so Polish people
10:26   and Poland might be safe. Why am I mentioning border guards
10:30   right now, when we are discussing the Polish army?
10:34   Because for us, building the security of Poland
10:38   also requires an effective and successful cooperation among different services.
10:42   We are treating Polish security and the security of Polish people
10:46   as a system, and not cherry-picking like you people were doing it [addressing opposition].
10:50   It is important
10:54   not only to develop the Polish Army, but just as much as the safety secured
10:58   by services under the jurisdiction of Minister Błaszczak [Interior Minister].
11:02   Today, thanks to, among others, the efforts of Minister [of Defense]
11:06   Antoni Macierewicz, the Polish army is able to cooperate perfectly with
11:10   police, firefighters and the border guards.
11:14   And we could appreciate the results of this cooperation, for example, during
11:18   the perfect operation of guaranteeing security
11:22   during last year’s World Youth Days, which took place in Poland.
11:26   Ladies and gentlemen,
11:30   a secure Poland is a huge task.
11:34   It shouldn’t be employed for the current political dispute. It’s wrong to do that,
11:38   because the peace and safety of citizens should never become hostage to
11:42   political cynicism. This is why I want to speak
11:46   also about what is fundamental for me.
11:50   I want to talk about that today, especially after the events
11:54   that occurred in Manchester,
11:58   after yet another terrorist attack where innocent people died.
12:03   And now the terrorists have gone one step further,
12:07   because they hit the most innocent and defenseless: they hit the children.
12:11   Do you want settle for that? Do you want
12:15   render Poland defenseless?!
12:19   Today…
12:27   today this debate about the vote of no-confidence
12:31   against the Minister of Defense is, above all, a debate
12:35   about the state of the security of Poland. Yes!
12:39   We are rebuilding this security day after day! And we won’t permit
12:43   that Polish children will be unable to travel safely
12:47   to a club, to school or to a playground!
12:51   We will never settle for that!
13:03   And I have the courage,
13:07   and I have the courage to say,
13:11   and I have the courage to ask the European political elites
13:15   “Where are you going?!’
13:19   “Where are you going Europe?! Get up from your knees and wake up from your lethargy or else
13:23   every day you will weep over your [dead] children!”
13:27   [Calls: Truth! It’s the truth!]
13:31   If you cannot see, if you cannot see,
13:35   if you cannot see that today’s terrorist threat
13:39   is a fact which every day can touch
13:43   every country in Europe, and if you think that Poland
13:47   shouldn’t defend herself, you are walking hand in hand with those
13:51   who are pointing that weapon against Europe, against all of us.
13:59   And we have to say plain
14:03   and straight: this is an attack against Europe,
14:07   against our culture, against our traditions. Why am I talking about it?
14:11   Why am I talking about it? This is precisely a good question!
14:16   Because all of us in this room have to answer,
14:20   but also all of us in Europe have to answer this question:
14:24   Do we want politicians who say
14:28   That we need to get used to the assassinations, and who call
14:32   the terrorist attacks “incidents”? Or do we want
14:36   strong politicians, who can see the threat and fight it successfully?
14:40   And Antoni Macierewicz is the latter kind of politician.
14:52   We won’t be blackmailed and we won’t surrender
14:56   to political correctness.
15:00   It’s time to say clearly: Poland will be safe
15:04   when she has a strong army,
15:08   when all the services are well-trained
15:12   and equipped to defend the safety of Polish people.
15:16   And then if we, the politicians will
15:20   be responsible, and notice the threat,
15:24   we won’t fight about what is fundamental and most important
15:28   to our countrymen: security.
15:32   There is nothing more precious the freedom of our homeland and
15:36   the security of our countrymen!
15:44   And precisely Antoni Macierewicz is that politician
15:48   who can guarantee that the Polish Army will be rebuilt,
15:52   that it will be efficient, strong; it will be an important element
15:56   of NATO. And we will be able to
16:01   feel safe here in Poland. But also
16:05   Europe will be able to feel safe, because being in the EU doesn’t mean
16:09   settling for political correctness, but taking responsibility.
16:13   Also then, when Brussels’ political elites
16:17   cannot take that responsibility, because they are blinded by political correctness,
16:21   and scared, and all the time allow themselves
16:25   to be disarmed. We don’t agree with that!
16:29   And everywhere: here on the Vistula river [i.e. Poland] and in Brussels and in any other place,
16:33   we will repeat
16:37   that we have to take care of security, because it is fundamental.
16:41   We have to notice the threats, and above all fight them efficiently.
16:45   Not be scared, but be responsible and fight efficiently
16:49   what is today being prepared against us.
16:53   This is our task. This is the task for the political elites
16:57   who are present in this room. This is why I am expecting you to act responsibly.
17:01   Not in the name of
17:05   polls that are so important to you, but in the name of the security
17:09   of Poland and of the Polish people. Thank you very much.

10 thoughts on “Prime Minister Beata Szydło: “Poland will not accept blackmail from the EU!”

  1. Bravo to Poland and the Visegrad Four! The dominoes, and at last, have begun to fall for the EU, also known as, wider Germany and the Fatherland’s agenda.

    • Now don’t be greedy! You have a leader in USA, we in Canada have an embarrassment! (swap you?)

    • Talk to Donald – we will gladly switch one Donald (Tusk) for the other Donald (Trump) 😉

      Maybe we will get even a tower?

  2. The Prime Ministers presentation draws the comparison between having a knife pressed against ones jugular, or receiving a threatening e-mail from an enemy an ocean away. Poland see’s the glint of the blade, too many Americans see an e-mail. Poland is well represented by a pol who “gets’ it”. The Obama years and those who supported those treacherous times mirror the cat-calls during the Prime Ministers speech. How Obama must have strained the credulity of those who “get it”. Listening to his bloviations concerning Islam must have been like suffering an impacted bowel of Portland cement. Laugh but…..
    Pray for Europe.

  3. Islam is NOT a religion for living in harmony with one’s fellow man. It IS a religion just like Communism and Naziism. Better get out of the EU before they raise an Army to enforce their rules and regulations. If any European country tells the EU in Brussels to E’ff Off…..what can they really do ? Nothing. E’ff the EU and the horse it rode in on.

  4. She is Poland! She incarnates the will of the country to exist and BE Poland. By the way, I love all the Polish hand-kissing at the end. She may be the premier but she is still treated like a lady as is the custom there.

  5. Thank you Ava Lon. You did a yeoman’s work in your very inspiring and exciting translation.

    I think, in reading between the lines, the Polish Prime Minister is letting the EU know that Poland won’t be an easy nut to crack if they decide to use the European Army to enforce the EU diktats.

    The Polish government also appears to be seriously on-track to maintaining the viability of the Polish people and nation. In addition to enforcing the border, they are encouraging domestic manufacturing and domestic jobs, using the Polish citizens rather than paid mercenary soldiers for defense, and maintaining the independence and identity of the Polish military, rather than depending on the EU or even NATO. I’m not sure why they need NATO stationed on their territory. NATO is useless against the two biggest threats to Poland: immigration and Turkey.

    It occurred to me that a strong Russia would be enough to discourage EU or NATO military adventures in eastern Europe. It then occurred to me that is why the US and West Europeans are so upset with the Crimea annexation, and ringing Russia with defensive missiles and offensive armies. The objective is to neutralize Russia’s military threat. It’s not that Russia presents an offensive threat to European countries, but military actions on Russia’s doorstep would infringe on Russia’s core security interests and Russia would be inclined to act.

    Consistent with classic theories of competition, it is not necessary for Russia to be an enclave of freedom or good government for the existence of Russia to be beneficial to the independence of nearby countries.

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