He’s met with Tony Blair and my dear Queen, Lizzie II.
It's part of a three day visit ending Thursday. But how’s the visit going? Well here are two reports.
The first is from Radio Polonia:
The London visit of the Polish head of state has been seen as a very fruitful and friendly one...In fact it is said that Lech Kaczynski did not have such friendly talks with any other officials during his foreign trips as he did with PM Tony Blair. Both politicians underlined they shared common opinions and stand on matters concerning the EU and NATO as well as energy security.
And now look at this report from thisislondon.co.uk. Notice any difference?
‘Thousands of 'feckless' Poles are raking in unemployment benefits back home while doing 'very nicely' out of the British economy, according to the Polish President [!!?].
Lech Kaczynski also said Britain has become the 'destination of choice' for many of his countrymen, who have ended up jobless and homeless here.
He was flanked by Tony Blair as he made the remarks, which had to be translated into English before the Prime Minister realised he had been acutely embarrassed on his own doorstep.
Er...eh? Must be two different visits they are reporting. Or maybe Blair was being friendly when he was being embarrassed?
The full transcript of the press conference at Number 10 shows that Kaczynski was responding to a question from the press about what to do with the number of homeless and jobless Poles in Britain. He was also asked if he enjoyed his English Breakfast:
I did enjoy the English breakfast very much, yes, although it was a bit too hearty for me, a bit copious. The hotel is also exquisite, very well located in a wonderful part of London, close to Buckingham Palace. As regards unemployed Poles and homeless Poles in London and the UK, I believe that there are a number of people, not only from Poland but from other countries from the new European Union who are helpless or feckless naturally, but they seek a better life, they go abroad and currently the UK has become a destination of choice for such individuals. Poland does not shirk responsibility for its own citizens. We are aware that this problem exists, we are aware that there are people who aren't doing very well in life but this is something you find in all society. Poland does not seek to avoid its share of the responsibility. We know that there are those who have succeeded in the UK, who have jobs, who are doing very well thank you considering especially the differences between the wages in the UK and in Poland. But these people are registered as unemployed in Poland, so they are living a fiction and they are raising the unemployment figures in Poland while they are doing very nicely here in the UK and their unemployment benefits should rightly be sent to London. And this is something that we would like to do without, but like I said Poland is not avoiding its share of the burden.
Not so unreasonable. Blair responded:
...the vast majority of Polish people that come and work here are working very hard, they are very well regarded and on the whole as I find, and as I think most people do certainly in a city like London, they are both well respected and well liked.
The first report may have dodged the issue altogether, but the other reports are politically motivated, by the usual suspects in the British press, who are trying to stir it up all they can.
Polish president blasts 'feckless' countrymen who flock to UK, Yorkshire Post
Leader in Poles Rap, Daily Mirror