Polish President Killed In Plane Crash

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by dangerousdave, Apr 10, 2010.

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  1. Polish president Lech Kaczynski and his wife are believed to be among dozens of people killed when their plane crashed in western Russia.

    Polish officials say at least 87 people died when their jet came down as it was approaching Smolensk airport.

    Reports say there were no survivors when the Tupolev Tu-154 plane crashed.

    "The plane scraped the tree tops, crashed and caught fire," Polish foreign ministry spokesman Piotr Pszkowski said.

    In addition to the Kaczynskis, the Polish central bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek was also on board, according to a bank spokesman.

    More follows...
  2. Shame we can't have that happen to our lot.
  3. We DO still have an Air Force don't we...?
  4. Their CGS was also on board.
  5. And another Eastern Block leader who was pro-West is no longer in post (I really, really hope that is a Conspiracy Theory too far).
  6. Their president, their CGS, and the governor of their Central Bankski

    ALL just happen to cark it in an accident... hhhmm. The fact that it was over Russia is not particularly here nor there, but in any case : foil hats on chaps!
  7. Poland has lost most of the top tier of the Government and their entire Chiefs of Staff

    * Lech Kaczynski, the President of Poland
    * Maria Kaczynska, the first lady
    * Ryszard Kaczorowski, the last President of the Polish government-in-exile
    * Jerzy Szmajdzinski, Deputy speaker of Sejm (Polish Parliament)
    * Wladyslaw Stasiak, Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration
    * Aleksander Szczyglo, head of the National Security Bureau
    * Pawel Wypych, Secretary of State in the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland
    * Mariusz Handzlik, Undersectretary of State for International Affairs
    * Andrzej Kremer, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
    * General Franciszek Gagor, Chief of the Polish Army General Staff
    * Andrzej Przewoznik, Secretary-General of Rada Ochrony Pamie;ci Walk i Me;czen'stwa
    * Grzegorz Dolniak, member of the Sejm
    * Przemyslaw Gosiewski, Deputy Prime Minister of Poland
    * Zbigniew Wassermann, member of the Sejm
    * Janusz Kochanowski, Polish Ombudsman
    * Slawomir Skrzypek, President of the National Bank of Poland
    * Janusz Kurtyka, Historian and president of the Institute of National Remembrance
    * Bishop Tadeusz Ploski

    Gen. Bronislaw Kwiatkowski (Commander Operations)
    Gen. Andrew Blasik (Air Force Commander in Chief)
    Gen. Tadeusz Buk (Commander of Land Forces)
    Gen. Wojciech Potasinski (Commander of Special Forces)
    Vice Admiral Andrzej Karweta (Commander in Chief of the Polish Navy)
    Gen. Casimir Gilarski (Commander, Training)
  8. It was Putin what done it!
  9. Bit silly putting them all on the same plane - I can only presume their T&S rules are as bone as ours! Some civil service wonk saying 'its far too expensive to send some of you civ air'.
  10. So what about the tier that steps in to take their place? Have they been groomed, and by who?
  11. Ironically, they were on their way to the site of the Katyn massacre, carried out on the direct orders of Stalin and Beria and which the Sovs blamed on the Nazis for decades before finally coughing to it in the 90s. As far as I know, Moscow refuses to this day to acknowledge it as a war crime, which, to say the least, hasn't helped mend Polish-Russian relations. But presumably even Putin wouldn't have been stupid enough to order this ... would he?
  12. I'm thinking that it could well be by order of some other power which has played chess and been unhappy with Polish antics lately. Russia gets framed, Katyn and traditional Russian-Polish acrimony provide the whiff of a red herring... the job, as they say, is a good one.

  13. "…The crash of his plane occurred three days after Putin and his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk, together attended a memorial for the victims of the massacre at Katyn.

    The Putin-Tusk meeting there was seen as a huge symbolic advance in Russia's often thorny relations with Poland.…"

    Donald Tusk

    In his government’s domestic policy, Tusk has pursued the continuation of free-market policies, streamlining the bureaucracy, enacting long-term stable governance, cutting taxes to attract greater foreign business ventures, and luring foreign-working Poles back to Poland.[2] The construction of a more adequate and larger national road network in preparation for the UEFA 2012 football championships has been a stated priority for the Tusk government.[3] In continental policy, Tusk has strongly supported greater political and economic integration within the European Union, strongly backing the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, standing in stark contrast to President Lech Kaczynski’s vehement opposition.[4] Tusk has repeatedly stated his government’s intention in bringing Poland into the Eurozone. Originally wanting to introduce the euro by 2012, Tusk currently envisions 2015 as “a realistic and not overly-ambitious goal."[5]

    In foreign policy, Tusk has sought to improve relations damaged during the previous Kaczynski government, particularly with Germany and Russia. While criticizing the words of German politician Erika Steinbach in regards to her opinion over the expulsion of Germans from Poland following World War II, Tusk has stressed the need for warm relations with Berlin.[6] Tusk has also advocated a more realistic relationship with Moscow, especially in regards to energy policy.[6] Under Tusk’s premiership, Russian bans on Polish meat and agricultural products have been lifted, while Poland reversed its official policy of disagreement on a European Union-Russian partnership agreement.[7]

    In the first weeks of his premiership in November 2007, Tusk outlined in a speech to the Sejm the withdraw of Polish Army units from Iraq, stating that "we will conduct this operation keeping in mind that our commitment to our ally, the United States, has been lived up to and exceeded." The last Polish military units completed their withdraw in October 2008.[9]

    In regards to U.S. plans of hosting missile defense shield bases in the country, Tusk hinted skepticism in the project, saying that their presence could potentially increase security risks from Russia, rejecting U.S. offers in early July 2008.[10] By August, however, Tusk relented, and supported the missile shield, declaring, “we have achieved the main goal. It means our countries, Poland and the United States will be more secure.”[11] Following President Barack Obama’s decision to scrap and revise missile defense strategy, Tusk described the move as “a chance to strengthen Polish-US co-operation in defense…I took this declaration from President Obama very seriously and with great satisfaction."[12] Tusk later supported a smaller and more mobile defense strategy equipped with short-range missiles and fewer personnel.

    Since being elected prime minister, relations between Tusk and President Lech Kaczynski have often been acrimonious due to different political ideologies and the constitutional role of the presidency. Using presidential veto powers, Kaczynski has blocked legislation drafted by the Tusk government, including pension reform, agricultural and urban zoning plans, and restructuring state television.[13] Tusk and Kaczynski have repeatedly sparred over issues ranging from European integration, homosexuality, foreign policy, to constitutional issues, with Tusk taking more socially liberal opinions than the conservative Kaczynski.

    In his premiership, Tusk has proposed various reforms to the Polish constitution. In 2009, Tusk proposed changes to the power of the presidency, by abolishing the presidential veto. “The president should not have veto power. People make their decision in elections and then state institutions should not be in conflict," said Tusk.[14] Tusk again reiterated his desire for constitutional reform in February 2010, proposing that the presidential veto be overridden by a simple parliamentary majority rather than through a three-fifths vote. “Presidential veto could not effectively block the will of the majority in parliament, which won elections and formed the government,” stated Tusk.[15] Further constitutional reforms proposed by Tusk include reducing the Sejm from a membership of 460 to 300, “not only because of its savings, but also the excessive number of members’ causes blurring certain plans and projects.”[15] Similarly, Tusk proposed radical changes to the Senate, preferring to abolish the upper house altogether, yet due to constitutional concerns and demands from the junior coalition Polish People's Party partner, Tusk proposed reducing the Senate from 100 to 49, while including former presidents to sit in the Senate for political experience and expertise in state matters.[15] Parliamentary immunity for all members of the Sejm and Senate would also be stripped, except for in special situations.[15] In addition, Tusk proposed that the prime minister’s role in foreign policy decisions would be greatly expanded.[16] By decreasing the president’s role in governance, executive power would further be concentrated in the prime minister, directly responsible to the cabinet and Sejm, as well as avoiding confusion over Poland’s representation at international or EU summits.[17] The oppositon conservative Law and Justice party deeply criticized Tusk's constitutional reform proposals, opting in opposing legislation for the presidency to garner greater power over the prime minister.[18]

    In an interview with the Financial Times in January 2010, Tusk was asked if he considered running again as Civic Platform’s candidate for that year’s presidential election. Tusk replied that although the presidential election typically drew the most voters to the polls and remained Poland's most high-profiled race, the presidency had little political power outside of the veto, and preferred to remain as prime minister. While not formally excluding his candidacy, Tusk declared that “I would very much like to continue to work in the government and Civic Platform, because that seems to me to be the key element in ensuring success in the civilisational race in which we are engaged.”[19] A day after the interview, Tusk formally announced his intention of staying as prime minister, allowing his party to chose another candidate.[20]

  14. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket.
  15. Same thoughts running through me head, the quicker option clearly backfired on this one. Any suggestion as to what caused the crash beyond pilot error? You'd think the pilot on such a flight would have a wealth of experience and wouldn't find himself in such a state unless something drastic happened.