>Polish students protest, Czech Greens self-destruct

Don’t knock the French language press. Reading through an unwanted copy of Libération picked up in the Eurostar I see with some interest that in Poland there have been spontaneous protests of 2000-3000 high school and univerity students against the appointment of the League of Polish families leader Roman Gertych as Education Minister. Turning with trepidation given with my non-existent Polish to the online edition of Gazeta Wyborcza some guesswork and a Czech-Polish dictionary suggests a rather interesting social movement in the making http://serwisy.gazeta.pl/wyborcza/1,34513,3342116.html and with regional demonstrations planned at provinical universities. The big story for GW seems to be the use of internet and SMS to co-ordinate the protests, but this seems fairly well established as for example in the right-wing ‘civic circles’ movement organized by Fidesz (now narrowly defeated the left again despite its conservative-nationalist civic mobilzation).

No mention of events in Poland in the British press and more distrubingly not a word about the the killings in Antwerp, although the latter is picked up by Lidové noviny in Prague despite the ongoing Czech elections. Here, the centre-right’s prospects of forming a coherent administration with the Christian Democrats now depend on the Greens – this year’s surprise package – not making it into parliament. The Czech Greens themselves seem to be try to oblige by banging energetically on the self-destruct button a fortnight before polling. Czech media report a renewed bout of faction fighting in the party in the form of a open letter critizing the leadership’s neglect of the grassroots signed inter alia by veteran human rights activist, ex-Human Rights Ombudsman and one time revolutionary socialist Petr Uhl. Two Green party members thumping each other at a party meeting after ‘inappropriate comments’ (political in nature apparently) one made about the other’s spouse, who is running in the election. Perhaps it is just the right-wing press targetting the Greens, whose ‘indiscipline’ , ‘instability’ and lack of ‘legibility’ has been trumpeted across the political spectrum since their breakthrough in the opinion polls in February.

I can’t help feeling we won’t be seeing Central Europe’s first Green deputies for decade come 4 June…


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