Central Europe not understood by Western Europe - PM for CNN

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos to US TV channel CNN on Friday, said that there is lack of understanding by Western Europe of what is occurring in Central Europe.

Referring to the remark made by CNN journalist Richard Quest that there is a fear that rule of law is being threatened in Poland by the judiciary, the media and the government, Morawiecki replied: "Everything is OK in Austria or in Germany when politicians are on the Constitutional Tribunal. In our case, it is the judicial system that selects the judiciary, the judges, and we are less dependent on political selection. So why this is not right, can anyone answer this question?" the Polish PM said.

He went to state that "there is a lack of understanding of what is happening in Central Europe by our Western European friends because they were on the right side of the Iron Curtain post Second World War and we were on the wrong side, and we suffered a lot."

The Polish prime minister argued that the current government is now "purging a lot of what was not right in the judiciary system," admitting, however, that "80 percent or even 90 percent of the judges are decent people, are good people, or maybe even 99 percent."

When the CNN journalist pointed to fears that "Poland and Hungary are reverting towards an authoritarian, anti-democratic system," Morawiecki replied: "You must be kidding, now. We are introducing reforms, we would like our judicial system to be as efficient as those in some western countries."

Morawiecki stressed that Poland's spending on the judicial system is three times higher than average in the European Union, and that among the changes introduced to the country's judiciary are two that are "critically important to objectivity and independence of the judiciary." "These are the random allocation of cases and the prohibition of moving judges between different chambers," he explained.