Upon hearing the American President Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize today, Polish Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa reflected the surprise of many around the world: “Who? What? So Fast?”
The former president, himself a Peace Prize winner in 1983, told the press in Warsaw “Who, Obama? So fast? Too fast – he hasn’t had the time to do anything yet.” This sentiment was reflected by current Prime Minister Donald Tusk: “Shock – absolutely. It’s interesting, but shocking.”
However, once the initial shock wore off, Wałęsa elaborated: “He’s proposing things, he’s initiating things, but he is yet to deliver.” But Wałęsa also seemed hopeful, stating “Let’s give Obama a chance”.
One person to share that attitude was former Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński: “This is a Nobel Prize for hope. I think this prize is supposed to encourage him, put an obligation on him, and to boost his weakening position.”
Whether that becomes the case is yet to be seen.