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Text of report by Polish leading privately-owned centre-left newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza website, on 10 May
[Interview with Prime Minister Donald Tusk by Renata Grochal, Jaroslaw Kurski, and Bartosz T. Wielinski; place and date not given: "The PO Campaign Will Not Be About Tit-for-Tat"]
[Gazeta Wyborcza] Do you have blood on your hands? That is what they are saying on public television.
[Tusk] I will definitely not let myself be taken off balance. Even such insinuations do not alter my conviction that the freedom of speech should not be restricted even when people make base or idiotic statements, just because we find them hurtful. You are familiar with my convictions. Fortunately, elections in Poland are not won by those who control the public media.
There are more serious issues than invectives. The victims and families are not alone in weeping. We are all weeping and wondering what the legacy of Smolensk is. Despite everything, I hope that this tragedy will form a new foundation for the community of the nation, strongly identified with its own state.
But there is no use hiding it: a current of thought has emerged that interprets this legacy differently. The people of PiS [Law and Justice] and TVP [public broadcaster] have shown extraordinary energy in getting to work on a political operation along the lines of: "How can the nation mourning be utilized in the presidential campaign to create an even deeper division, how can Poland's politics and history be sliced up in line with their own philosophy?"
[Gazeta Wyborcza] Were you surprised at the decision to bury the presidential couple at Wawel Castle? Is this an element of a new founding myth for PiS?
[Tusk] As you know, I have had enough duties to think about over the past weeks that I have not yet been able to clearly evaluate the political aspects of behaviours during the period of mourning. But it is obvious to me that many of us did a lot of good work during those difficult days, to spare the families of those who died of additional distress and inconvenience, to make sure that all of us kept functioning somehow. But there is no doubt that there were also some people who spent this time mainly focused on the creation of a political myth. Someday they will answer for this to God.
[Gazeta Wyborcza] PO [Civic Platform] parliamentary caucus chief Grzegorz Schetyna has said that PiS was usurping this tragedy.
[Tusk] Right now, the public opinion in Poland may find itself under the influence of bad emotions and bad intentions on the part of certain politicians and certain circles, which want to turn the tragedy and the tasks we face into tools for fighting their opponents.
The key to understanding the current situation is - sorry for being bombastic - how one interprets the common good following this tragic event. Either a sense of community will prevail, or political interests. Unfortunately, it seems that harsh and brutal politics will prevail.
[Gazeta Wyborcza] Because there are two Polands. "One which wants to appeal to the world, and one which gets carted around on a cannon platform," because "what has been torn asunder cannot be put back together, Poland cannot be turned over to its thieves."
[Tusk] Is that Rymkiewicz [poet]?
[Gazeta Wyborcza] Yes.
[Tusk] Here we are getting to the heart of the matter. There is only one Poland. But when the political calendar is so heated - with presidential, local government, and parliamentary elections - then evil wakes up and self-interested people and despicable attitudes surface. One cannot allow oneself to be dragged into this. When one is responsible for the whole, one has to know how to stand above things and try to reach out also to those people who have lost their confidence, their guidance, and are at a loss after this catastrophe. So that they should not become an instrument in the political battle, and Poland an object of a sharp division.
[Gazeta Wyborcza] Jaroslaw Kaczynski is appealing: "I call upon everyone who wants to continue the work of the victims of the Smolensk catastrophe, who want righteous Poland and righteous Poles to always hold their heads high, to work together. For the sake of Poland." Was he usurping the tragedy for political purposes?
[Tusk] No one has the right to turn this mourning, this tragedy, into a whip for beating those who have different views and visions of the future. I reject such logic. I will not permit a cold civil war to now erupt. We have too much work to do for us to be able to …