Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski has given his farewell Christmas message before formally standing down later today. He said that during his two terms the office of the presidency had been a stabilising force as the country entered Nato and the European Union.
His final call was for Poles to be proud of who they are and where they live. Kwasniewski, a former communist who was comfortable on the world stage, hands over to Lech Kaczynski, a veteran anti-communist who is barely known outside Polish borders. Kaczynski, the former mayor of Warsaw, has said he will take a more interventionist approach than his predecessor.