It was more than just a handshake, as new German Chancellor Angela Merkel met new Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiwicz in Warsaw on Friday night. Many including Merkel herself are hoping her first visit to Poland as chancellor will usher in a new era in German-Polish relations. Forging friendlier ties with Germany’s biggest neighbour was one of Merkel’s selection promises – and Poles are determined to hold her to it.
In their talks, Marcinkiwicz said they touched on bilateral and EU-related issues. “We talked as well about the difference between our countries, because the future should be built with the truth as to the past,” he said. Dealing with the past will play an important role in improving relations. Merkel has already sought to reassure Poland over controversial plans for a new centre in Berlin commemorating the plight of Germans expelled from territories awarded to Poland after World War Two.