Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lech Walesa offers penance over Ganley affair and says he will come to Ireland to campaign for a YES vote in Lisbon referendum

Walesa to convince the Irish about the Treaty
PAP Wiadomo?ci

[Here is a translation of a Polish Press Agency article that appeared today.]

Former Polish President Lech Wałęsa declared readiness to come to Ireland to persuade its people to adopt the Lisbon Treaty. He said this in an interview with AFP agency - informs PAP (Polish Press Agency) service.

"As a member of the EU Council of Wise Men I should listen to people from Libertas in order to know, what they think and what they are planning. I do not agree with Libertas and only present to them my point of view" Walesa said in an interview published today, referring to criticism relating to his participation in Libertas' congresses.

"I am ready to go to Ireland and take part in the discussion there, alone or accompanied by (the leader of Libertas Declan) Ganley and say: "My dear Irishmen, back up the treaty. This is necessary because it's better to have an imperfect driver than not have any at all. And this treaty we will improve" he pointed out.

He assured that his aim is to "convince Ganley to withdraw from the criticism of the Treaty of Lisbon.

The Irish rejected the treaty in a referendum in June 2008, the next referendum to take place at the end of this year. For the treaty to come into force, it must be ratified by all Member States.

Walesa stressed the need to talk to opponents. "Of course, you can refuse to talk, force anti-EU or antiglobal to demonstrate. However, you can also accept a democratic confrontation, invite them to take part in the discussion to see what they have to say - said Walesa.

"Walesa wondered on the situation of some of the mentioned countries - with only 20 percent of the population taking part in the elections. The question is what the other 80 percent thinks. Really, is there no room for other ideas? Does somebody have a monopoly on truth?" Asked Walesa.

He pointed out that "It is better for the skeptics and opponents to find their place in the European structures instead of manifesting in the streets, throwing stones and burning tires.

He expressed his conviction that the EU should have a president, though he stressed that "what is needed first is to define his powers, areas of his responsibility, for example, relations with Russia and China." He also added that "if we wont have a strong leadership, we will stay an underdog against Russia and China."

Walesa has expressed the regret that Europe does not recognize the significance of the date of 4 June 1989 - "The elections in communist Poland knocked the teeth of the communist bear, and when a toothless bear could no longer bite, we could move on to destroy the Berlin Wall" - he said. "Unfortunately, many people in Europe do not want to keep in mind that it was Poland and the Poles in 1989 that opened the way for the dismantling of the Yalta order and for the unification of Europe." __________________

Thanks to our Polish bureau for the accurate translation

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