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Polish PM urges respect, unity after mayor’s slaying

Poland’s prime minister has called for mutual respect and an end to bitter political divisions in the country in the wake of the fatal stabbing of a popular mayor.

Speaking at a public event on Sunday, Mateusz Morawiecki appealed to “all politicians, opinion leaders, media and culture leaders” to “make our public life better, and make the public debate calmer, wiser and based on respect for one another.”

He said Poles needed “national reconciliation and accord” after the mayor’s death.

Paweł Adamowicz, 53, mayor of the northern Polish port city of Gdańsk, died last Monday from severe wounds inflicted by a knifeman during a high-profile charity event.

Adamowicz’s killing, which made international headlines, caused shock in Poland and prompted calls for an end to hate speech in a country bitterly divided politically.

Morawiecki was among top political figures from Poland and abroad who on Saturday took part in a funeral service for Adamowicz.

In a sermon at the service, Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź said the mayor’s killing was seen by many as a “powerful, sudden, unceasing alarm bell” signaling the need to weed out the “language of contempt, humiliation, depreciation” from Polish politics and society.

Thousands of mourners last week paid tribute to the slain politician, whose violent death left people in shock and searching for answers.

Morawiecki said on Sunday that Adamowicz’s death was a “great evil” and that efforts should be made to turn it into something positive, a “breakthrough moment” for the country.


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