Germany backs European Union chief for second term

Tracy FergusonMar 11, 2017

"There is no need for hurry, no need to make the decision today", Waszczykowski said on TVN24.

Centrist Tusk has been a long-term foe of the head of the conservative Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who has accused him of "moral responsibility" for his twin brother's death in a plane crash in Russian Federation in 2010.

Mr Tusk, 59, was a driving force in last year's deal with Turkey to address the migration crisis, and he has coordinated the EU's response to Britain's plan to withdraw. So, too, is the role Poland will play in Brexit negotiations now that UK Prime Minister Theresa May threw her support behind Tusk.

"I see his re-election as a sign of stability for all of Europe, and I am happy to continue working with him", Merkel told the German parliament before heading to Brussels.

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All, except Poland that instead of its vote, handed the grenade to the reelected European Council president Donald Tusk after pulling the pin.

"Today we will decide on the re-election of Donald Tusk as president of the European Union for another two and a half years", Merkel told parliament before heading to a Brussels summit of European Union leaders. Merkel saying no cuts to Poland's European Union subsidies were on the agenda now.

Poland's rare veto comes after the rightwing government in Warsaw for weeks accused its European Union counterparts of riding roughshod over its opposition to renewing Tusk's mandate. Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski threatened to veto the summit's conclusions to oppose Tusk's election in an interview to Polish television reported by the BBC.

The rightwing Beata Szydlo accused the liberal Tusk of having "brutally violated" the rule of "political neutrality" by becoming involved in domestic political disputes. A histrionic anti-Tusk video published by PiS this week blames Mr Tusk for destroying the Polish shipbuilding industry and shows him cosying up to Brussels power-brokers.

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In reaction, Civic Platform leaders expelled Saryusz-Wolski from the party. The accident was put down to dense fog. Polish and Russian investigations blamed pilot error for the crash. "There are very clear rules of engagement and rules of procedure that we will follow", Muscat said.

Under the Chicago Convention, which covers global air travel, the state on whose territory a crash occurs bears responsibility for conducting the investigation.

Tusk was confirmed for another 2 ½-year term despite vociferous objections in recent weeks from the government of his native Poland.

What does the European Council president do?

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The presidency of the European Council is a prestigious role involving chairing summits, coordinating the work of the member countries and representing the 28 member countries with one voice on the worldwide stage.

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