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European Parliament backs MEP in row with Polish government

European Parliament backs MEP in row with Polish government
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A Polish MEP, in conflict with his government after refusing to make a declaration about his past, has received the backing of colleagues at the European Parliament.

Bronislaw Geremek has fallen foul of a new law aimed at exposing those who collaborated with Poland’s communist-era secret police. The government has threatened to strip him of his mandate.

In a statement of support, European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering described Geremek as: “a political personality of the highest esteem who always stood up for democracy.” He added that the parliament would examine ways to allow Geremek to remain in office.

The former dissident says he has already made a declaration that he was never an informer and sees no need to make another.

The new legislation is part of a drive by Poland’s conservative leadership to screen academics, journalists and politicians for collaboration with the country’s former hardline communist regime.