Italian press about Polish presidential vote: a divided country

'A divided Poland' and 'a conflict of two souls, of one nation' are among the commentaries published on Monday by Italy's biggest newspapers in articles referring to President Andrzej Duda's win in Sunday's presidential runoff vote.

Corriere della Sera described President Duda as 'a populist,' who 'does not love democracy,' and stated that his victory was more a guarantee of stability, rather than an assurance of democracy.

The daily also wrote that the popularity of the Polish president, who is presented as "a defender of national sovereignty against European interference" and as a protector of the family, is, above all, connected with the 500 Plus child benefit programme.

Il Giornale reported that President Duda declares himself to be a defender of the traditional model of a family, who supports the Polish government's generous programme of social policy. According to the daily, this policy has made it possible for many Polish families to extricate themselves from poverty and made them believe that, for the first time since the fall of communism in 1989, there is a party, which was taking care of them.

Il Giornale also admitted that Poland was deeply divided and that the presidential vote showed, just like five years ago, "an electoral and geographical split of the country" into a richer north-western part and a less developed eastern region, supporting conservative and national forces.

In the opinion of La Repubblica, the Sunday runoff vote is another example of a conflict of two souls of Poland. This is a battle, which has been ever more deeply polarising the eastern country, which is an EU and NATO member, it wrote.

In its article, La Stampa also wrote about "a divided country," and noted that the election campaign had showed two Polands, namely, one which is ultra-Catholic, which is tied to a traditional family, and another, which is "close to sexual minorities, open to dialogue and which defends democracy."