In a show of defiance against the European Union, Poland’s newly-elected conservative Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has broken with the practice of her liberal predecessors and decided to remove the EU flag from her weekly news conference.

Last month, Prime Minister Szydlo’s conservative Law and Justice Party won a landslide victory on an anti-immigration and Eurosceptic platform. The new Polish government is opposed to the EU-backed German proposal to distribute migrants across EU member states. Poland is only willing to accept displaced Christians from the Middle East.

Until now, Hungary’s President Viktor Orbán had been leading the charge against the EU’s Open-Arms Migrant Policy. With the election of Prime Minister Szydlo’s Right-Wing government in Poland, Hungary has found a powerful new alley within the European Union. Financial Times reports:

Poland’s new conservative euro-sceptic government has removed the European Union flag from its weekly press conference for Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, in a symbolic gesture that underscores the new regime’s cooler relations with Brussels, and its more patriotic outlook.

“We have adopted the principle that the statements made after the meeting of the Polish cabinet will be implemented against the background of the most beautiful, white-and-red flags,” Ms Szydlo, who was sworn in as prime minister last week, said in response to a question asking where the EU flags, which had previously featured alongside Polish flags, had disappeared to.

Since the election, [Prime Minister Szydlo’s Law and Justice Party] had said it will not honour an EU scheme to share refugees, and voiced concern over the EU’s climate change policies.

Warsaw’s new-found irreverence toward the EU flag didn’t go unnoticed in Brussels. The senior EU parliamentarian and former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt lashed back at Polish Prime Minister on Twitter saying, “So you don’t want the flag, but you still want the EU money?” Since the beginning of the migrant-crisis earlier this year, Eurocrats have been threating East European countries like Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland with reduction in financial aid and investments if they resist opening up their borders to mass migration.

East European countries that had resentfully lived under Moscow’s iron-fist for less than half a century (1945-91) are today turning out to be the fiercest opponents of dictates coming from Brussels.

Poland’s new government has also refused to join EU-led efforts to fight Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. According to Poland’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, the country won’t be sending young Polish men in the harm’s way, while “hundreds of thousands of Syrians sit and drink coffee on Berlin’s Unter den Linden and watch us fight for their safety.” Poland offered instead to train young Syrian migrants to fight ISIS.

(Cover photo courtesy Kancelaria Premiera, YouTube screenshot)


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