Secret ‘Sikorski’ Recording Plunges Poland’s Government Further into Crisis

Poland’s government is in crisis, as new secret recordings of conversations between ministers and other high-ranking authority figures continue to be released.

The latest covert tape, due to be published by the magazine Wprost in full on June 23, appears to be of foreign minister Radosław Sikorski. In the recording, said to have been made at Warsaw’s Amber Room restaurant, during a conversation between Mr Sikorski and then finance minister Jacek Rostowski, the foreign minister tells his colleague that Poland’s alliance with the US is ‘worthless’.

The voice said to be that of Mr Sikorski says: “The Polish-American alliance is worthless, even harmful, as it gives Poland a false sense of security.

“…We’ll get in conflict with the Germans, Russians and we’ll think that everything is super, because we gave the Americans a blow job. Losers. Complete losers.”

The speaker later adds that Poles in general have little pride or self-esteem, and describes them as a people suffering from ‘Murzyńskość’ – a racist term broadly meaning ‘thinking like a black man’.

A government spokeswoman said there would be a statement after the tape had been published in full.

As earlier recordings, between the head of the National Bank of Poland, Marek Belka, and interior minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, were made at the Sowa & Przyjaciele restaurant, Mr Sikorski tweeted that he had never been there. Wprost replied that the recording said to be of Mr Sikorski had been made at the Amber Room restaurant. Mr Sikorski’s tweet was later removed.

Mr Sikorski’s early response to Wprost claims:

Wprost has hinted that there are yet more recordings of high-ranking officials to come. Already, Sławomir Nowak, former transport minister, has resigned from ruling party Civic Platform in connection with the Wprost tapes. The Gdańsk politician is alleged to have been recorded secretly on separate tapes, asking former deputy finance minister Andrzej Parafianowicz for help regarding a tax issue.

Prime minister Donald Tusk said on Thursday that he may have to call an early election if the ‘crisis of confidence’ in the government did not abate. An investigation is currently underway, in a bid to discover who made the tapes – as covert recording is illegal in Poland.

Wprost’s editorial offices were raided by officers from the Internal Security Agency (ABW) on June 18, in a bid to seize material relating to the tapes. However, officers left empty-handed.

Wprost editor Sylwester Latkowski, explained in his online column on June 21, why the magazine was publishing the tapes.

Mr Latkowski wrote: “Our role is not to protect power. Any power. Our role is to show where the state acts badly, or does not work at all.”

He added that it was the role of Wprost journalists to write the truth, even if it was painful. Mr Latkowski also said that, in publishing the tapes, Wprost was preventing them from being used for blackmail or other criminal purposes that could damage Polish interests.

Comment: The Bank, the Minister, and the Secret Tapes – the Only Surprise is that we are Surprised.