July 11, 2020


Rafal Trzaskowski, the Europhile with sights on Polish presidency (BERNARD OSSER, 7/11/20, AFP)

The challenger for the Polish presidency, Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, is a liberal who has promised to turn Poland firmly towards the European Union.

A former deputy foreign minister, the 48-year-old is also the son of a jazz pioneer and great-grandson of the man who created Poland's first schools for girls.

Trzaskowski only joined the race against right-wing President Andrzej Duda at the last minute, after the vote was delayed in May because of the virus pandemic. [...]

Trzaskowski, who is married with two children, was elected mayor of Warsaw in 2018, winning over city residents with an inclusive campaign under the slogan "Warsaw For All."

His record as mayor has been mixed and critics say he has failed to do enough while in office.

In a light-hearted Facebook post when he was elected, he described his love of old books and stated that he had smoked marijuana in his youth although only "rarely."

Trzaskowski said the post was intended to defuse the "denigration campaigns" being waged by supporters of the Law and Justice Party, who he defined as "haters."

In the same post, he also "admitted" he had received a scholarship from George Soros, a US-Hungarian billionaire of Jewish descent who is a favorite target of populist campaigners around the world.

Trzaskowski, who described himself as "pro-Semitic," has in recent days come under attack in a report on Polish public television accusing him of failing to defend the national interest by not ruling out Jewish compensation claims from the Holocaust.

Poland can either be Western or Nationalist.

Posted by at July 11, 2020 7:54 AM