Ganley launches European campaign in Poland


LIBERTAS HAS launched its campaign to contest the European parliamentary elections in Poland in an alliance with extreme-right, populist, ultra-Catholic parties.

Libertas founder Declan Ganley told a rally of around 700 people there were parallels between the upcoming European election, Polish resistance against the Nazis and the 1683 battle of Vienna, when Poles turned back Ottoman army. But leading political analysts in Warsaw predicted that the presence of Libertas candidates in Poland’s EU election will be of “no significance”.

“We want the elections to European Parliament in 2009 to be a kind of a referendum against the anti-democratic Brussels and Treaty of Lisbon,” said Mr Ganley at a weekend rally, broadcast live on Polish television and which received widespread coverage.

The Polish Libertas line-up has yet to be finalised but is expected to draw on figures from the populist Self Defence party and the ultra-Catholic League of Polish Families (LPR), an anti-abortion, anti-Semitic, anti-gay grouping.

LPR figures at the Libertas event included creationists and death penalty proponents, as well as a former MEP who once suggested that “deviant” gay rights marchers in Warsaw “need to be walloped with a big stick”.

LPR and Self Defence have been relegated to the fringes of politics after failing to re-enter parliament in 2007; their voters have been absorbed by the main opposition, conservative Law and Justice Party of Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Before leaving Poland, Mr Ganley met Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow and former private secretary to Pope John Paul II. Mr Ganley said the talks were non-political, but the LPR website said Mr Ganley presented to the cardinal his plan for a new Polish political party.

Libertas did not return calls yesterday requesting comment.