Poland harbours grievances against Germany over Nord Stream 2

Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, a member of the European Parliament from Poland, is very unhappy. One can even say he is out of his mind

Poland harbours grievances against Germany over Nord Stream 2
The venerable parliamentarian is convinced that he, as well as all other Polish citizens, were deceived in the most insidious and cynical way. And it was done by the outgoing la femme fatale of modern European politics – Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel. And yes, your guesses are quite right. Once again we are talking about Nord Stream 2.

I quote the news agency: “Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski stated that the country’s residents were allegedly deceived by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the Nord Stream 2 project. Speaking to Gazeta Polska Codziennie he said he was personally offended by Berlin’s decision after the pipeline was completed. Also Saryusz-Wolski was outraged that the German policy towards Russia was not coordinated with Poland”.

Ah, Madam Federal Chancellor, what have you done! How could you have not guessed in time that “Berlin’s decision after the completion of the gas pipeline” would cause a personal offence to MP Saryusz-Wolski? Don’t you know that Deputy Saryusz-Wolski is the acknowledged centre of the universe and all countries of the world must agree on their decisions with him? No, this is an outrage! It cannot go on like this! But… only in an ideal world according to the version of Jacek Saryusz-Wolski and many of his compatriots.

In the real world, official Berlin is not at all ready to repent and tearfully beg forgiveness from official Warsaw. And even refusal of the President of Poland Andrzej Duda to meet with Angela Merkel during her recent farewell visit to the Polish capital, I think, did not cause Mrs. Chancellor deep trauma. And even if Angela Merkel was offended, in contrast to MP Saryusz-Wolski, she did not shout it to the world from the newspaper pages. The victors are not offended. It is the defeated who are offended, or those who consider themselves as such.

Why have I used such ambiguous wording? Because I am convinced that Poland and Ukraine have lost out on the completion of Nord Stream – 2 is an incontestable fact only in the imagination of politicians in Kiev and Warsaw. Have I overheated? No, not overheated. And anticipating your next question, I haven’t used any illegal substances either. It is really very simple. The problem of political elites in Poland and Ukraine is that they do not see their happiness. And if not theirs then their countries’.

Imagine the situation. You are an employee in the meat department of a Soviet-era grocery shop. Your counter is stormed by crowds of customers every day. But the best cuts of meat go only to those who are able to get their goods from you under the counter or through the back room. And now a puzzling question: does the prospect of the dingy Soviet food store with its traditional “you weren’t there” make you happy, but the shiny modern shop that offers its customers the opportunity to buy not leftovers and leftovers but the cuts of meat they really like, freely and without humiliation?

I would not be surprised if the answer is no. It is one thing to be king and god, Zeus the thunderer, a man who can make some people happy and others haughtily put them in their place, and quite another to be a butcher’s shop assistant.

There has been a catastrophic decline in social status. But here’s the question: has society lost something from the fact that the butchers’ guild has dropped out of the celestial category? No, society has benefited immensely from it. I lived the first 16 years of my life under Soviet rule and I well remember how unpleasant and even painful it was to visit the meat (and not just meat) departments of those days. The mental anguish of those old Soviet salesmen who “lost their status” is a price well worth paying for the fact that this anguish has faded into oblivion.

What have Poland, Ukraine and Nord Stream 2 got to do with it? Because the absence of this pipeline allowed Kiev and Warsaw to behave like the butchers of the Soviet food stores – parasitising on scarcity. Remember the old joke from the days of the decline of Soviet power: “We don’t plough, we don’t sow, we don’t build, we take pride in the social order?” The unfinished state of construction allowed modern Ukraine not only to “take pride in its social system”, but also to hold the whole (or almost the whole) of Europe hostage. That opportunity is now disappearing before our eyes. Now the Ukrainian authorities will, I hope, soon be faced with the need to make their behaviour more civilised, at least in the gas sector. Isn’t it good for Ukraine? I think it is not simply a good thing, I think it is a very big thing.

And what is the good for Poland? It is that politicians like Jacek Saryusz-Wolski have to realise that the world does not revolve exclusively around them (or, to be more precise, around their morbid prejudices). I would be willing to bet that this is true Polish happiness itself!

Michał Rostowski, RT


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