Ruling party leader speaks out against EU 'new empire'
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, has said his party wants to change the direction the EU has gone in, in order to prevent member states being turned into a "new empire."
Speaking at a party convention in the south-western city of Wroclaw ahead of a general election scheduled for October 15, Kaczynski said his party was not against the European Union, but that the bloc had gone "in a very bad direction."
"We are striving to change that direction... We are waiting for the coming European elections, that's next year, we're waiting for changes, they will come," he said.
Kaczynski, who is also a deputy prime minister, said Europe's wealth and strength lay in the "diversity and subjectivity" of its member states.
"That diversity and that subjectivity must be maintained, it cannot be changed into any new empire, and in that case a German empire," he said. "We've also had enough of empires."
The Law and Justice leader, and others in the government, have often alleged that the EU is a front for German domination.
The Polish government has also become embroiled in a series of protracted conflicts with Brussels which have made opposition politicians make the claim that PiS is intent on taking Poland out of the EU by stealth.
Kaczynski also said the previous government's policy of "lying down on its back before Germany" was intended to make opposition leader and former prime minister Donald Tusk a "big teddy bear" for the EU for his own private interests.
"We cannot allow that," Kaczynski said. "Something unheard of was achieved; the privatisation of foreign policy by one person. We rejected that. Today it is a policy in the interests of the nation, in the interests of all."