Destinations Magazine

The Return of the Awkward Squad

By Stizzard
The return of the awkward squad

POLAND is one of the European Union’s biggest success stories. Since it joined the EU in 2004 its GDP per head has almost doubled. Poles are more likely to be fond of Brussels than most other big members of the club. But since Poland’s new government, led by the populist Law and Justice party (PiS), came into power on November 16th, the cosy relationship between Poland and the rest of Europe is in danger. Increasingly, the poster child for European integration seems more like a moody teenager.

Much of PiS’s success can be explained by the unpopularity of the previous government, led by Civic Platform (PO). After eight years of PO many Poles were fed up; the party was seen as careerist, aimless and out of touch. But PiS also broadened its appeal, running a campaign that made it appear far more moderate. Older, rural voters still make up the core of its support (see chart). But during the election it came first among 18-29 year olds too. And since winning the election in October with over 37% of the votes, its popularity has surged. One recent poll puts its support at 42%.

The Economist: Europe

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