12 November will be a Polish national holiday

Andrzej Duda will sign a bill making 12 November of this year a national holiday, a spokesman for the president has said.

The holiday is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Poland’s gaining independence in the wake of World War One, after being partitioned between Austria, Prussia, and Russia. Ordinarily 11 November is a holiday, but this year it falls on a Sunday, and the government still wanted to give residents an extra day off.

Trade restrictions will also be in force on 12 November, as on most Sundays and other public holidays

2 thoughts on “12 November will be a Polish national holiday

  • November 1, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Despite the alarmist headlines which appeared in some Western publications after last year’s march, the celebration of Independence Day was not an exclusively ‘far-right’ gathering and was definitely not made up of “60,00 fascists” as some people said at the time – (and are still repeating).

    Having said that, the fact is, that the march itself is organized by three rightist groups, one of them the extreme right ONR and some assorted fascists and other exclusionists were very visible and vocal last year, even if they were only a minority.

    PiS has decided that the President will not take part and they themselves will not be present. The PiS spokesperson regrets that the organizers did not agree to the government’s requests that only red-and-white flags should appear at the march. The rightist organizers, in other words, are setting the conditions. The government appears powerless.

    It remains to be seen whether the interior minister will instruct the police to clamp down on the provocative banners popular with the extreme rightists and whether anything will be done about aggressive behaviour. If the minister’s head remains firmly in the sand, then we can expect that similar scenes to those of last year will again make the news worldwide and will make Poland look like a country to stay away from, rather than visit. Is it any wonder that world leaders are not exactly lining up to take part in this year’s centenary celebrations? (Added to the memory of last year’s scenes are Mr Kaczynski’s recent remarks about “European sicknesses”)
    Why is the centenary not a government-sponsored event? A national celebration has been taken over by exclusively right-wing groups who set the terms. This is gross dereliction of duty by the ruling party. If they cannot even control a national celebration, then why are they being entrusted with controlling the country?

    I sincerely hope, for the sake of all Polish people – at home and abroad – that Mr Kaczynski does not have to engage in yet another damage limitation exercise after this event.

    • November 2, 2018 at 9:33 am

      In fairness, the current interior minister was not in the post last year. Last year’s march occurred during the tenure of another person who now occupies another ministerial post. His idea of policing was to allow the police to look on as women demonstrators who opposed the right-wingers were roughed up by some marchers.

      The person with his head in the sand is actually the Great Back Seat Driver himself. His role model is apparently Pilsudski. The Marszalek may have had his faults, but he would never have allowed fascist banners to be carried through the streets of Warszawa, the city which was totally destroyed by Hitler’s fascists.

      There are people in PiS who should be ashamed to have let this happen.


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