Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the publication of “illegal eavesdropping” implicating several high-ranking politicians was “an attempt to destabilise the nation” originating from a “criminal conspiracy.”
Speaking at a news conference in the Baltic Sea port of Gdansk where he was meeting his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy, Tusk, according to Reuters, said the release of the tapes will not force him into making changes in his government line-up.
“The government has been attacked by a criminal group,” Tusk said,” I hope that justice will find the members of the group, especially the one pulling the strings.”
For the last ten days, the scandal of the eavesdropping tapes has rocked Poland and its government. A new level of tension was reached on Monday as weekly magazine Wprost published the transcript of an alleged discussion between Radoslaw Sikorski, the Polish Foreign minister, and former Finance minister Jacek Rostowski.
In the conversation, which is thought to dates back to January 2014, Sikorski expresses strong doubts about the Polish-American alliance. It is, according to the foreign minister “not worth anything.”
In addition, “it is downright harmful, because it creates a false sense of security … We’ll get into conflict with the Germans, Russians and we’ll think that everything is super, because we gave the Americans a blow job. Losers. Complete losers.”
According to the AFP news agency, the discussion was allegedly recorded in January in a Warsaw restaurant, unbeknownst to Sikorski and Rostowski.
The US ambassador in Warsaw, Stephen D. Mull, said in a tweet he refused to comment on “a private conversation.” However, he added, “concerning our alliance, it is strong”.
Talking to the AFP, political scientist Andrzej Richard said “these words aren’t devastating for the government. Quite the contrary, on the content, they express the worries of the countries’ officials. It is the brutality and the crudeness of the language used that shocks (…) Concerning the alliance with the US, Sikorski expresses in fact the feeling of a great part of the Polish public opinion. Let us not forget that the discussion took place in January, well before the Ukraine crisis and the policy change in Washington.”
The Wprost weekly magazine had earlier published the transcript of a private conversation between Marek Belka, governor of the Polish Central Bank, and Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, Poland’s Interior minister. Dating back to July 2013, the discussion evoked a possible exchange of help from the Central Bank concerning the national budget for the resignation of then-Finance minister Jacek Rostowski. He has since resigned, the AFP reports.
After these revelations, seen by many as influence-peddling, the Polish opposition called for the government’s resignation. Tension increased again after a failed attempt by the public prosecutor and the special service to seize the original recordings at the magazine’s headquarters.