, The President of the European Council Donald Tusk speaks at the European People's Party (EPP) congress in Helsinki, Finland, Thursday Nov. 8, 2018. The EPP, the group uniting Europe's center-right parties, has been wringing its hands over whether to keep Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Fidesz in the fold or cut them loose before European Parliament elections in May. (Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva via AP)
10 of November 2018 11:41:15
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council and a former Polish prime minister, denounced Poland's ruling populists as "contemporary Bolsheviks" who can be defeated.
Tusk, seen as a likely presidential contender in two years, spoke Saturday in Poland on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the country regaining its statehood at the end of World War I after 123 years of foreign rule.
He paid homage to the statesman who restored Polish independence, Marshal Jozef Pilsudski, who also defeated the Russian Bolsheviks in 1920, and to Lech Walesa, the Solidarity founder who opposed Soviet-backed communist rule in 1980s.
Arguing that Pilsudski and Walesa faced more difficult situations than Poles face today under a divisive government, he said: "why shouldn't you be able to defeat the contemporary Bolsheviks?"