Poland hits back after Macron warns Warsaw of being ‘marginalised’ on labour reform

Beata Szydło

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo struck back at French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, calling his warnings about Poland’s lack of alignment with EU interests “arrogant” amid a row over temporary workers, France 24 reports.

“I advise the president that he should be more conciliatory … Perhaps his arrogant comments are a result of a lack of [political] experience,” Szydlo said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

“I advise the president that he should focus on the affairs of his own country, perhaps he may be able to achieve the same economic results and the same level of security for (French) citizens as those guaranteed by Poland,” Szydlo added, in an apparent swipe at France’s persistent security concerns following a series of terror attacks.

Macron, speaking Friday during a tour of Central Europe, said that Poland’s right-wing government was isolating itself within the EU by going “against European interests”. His remarks came after Poland reiterated its objections to changing a controversial EU rule that lets firms send temporary workers from low-wage EU countries to rich economies without paying the usual local social charges.

“Poland today is not a country that can show Europe the way, it’s a country that has decided to go against European interests in many areas,” Macron said at a press conference in the Bulgarian coastal city of Varna.

“The country is placing itself on the margins of Europe’s future history,” he added.

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski also hit back at Macron’s comments on Friday.

“Poland is not being isolated,” Waszczykowski told a joint news conference in Warsaw with his Romanian and Turkish counterparts and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

“We are hosting an important meeting today so President Macron is not following carefully the news, doesn’t know what is happening in this part of Europe.”

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