Prime Minister Donald Tusk was prompted last week to reply in conciliatory terms to a letter of protest addressed to him by the Mayor of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski. The mayor was furious after the opportunity his team had been offered to present the city’s plans for the Euro 2012 Football Championships to the prime minister in person was denied to them at very short notice. The meeting was arranged at the invitation of the Chancellery of the President of the Council of Ministers for Feb. 6 and represented a chance for the six cities in the frame to host tournament matches (Chorzow, Gdansk, Krakow, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw) to present their case. The mayor of Krakow’s office had gone to the trouble of preparing numerous documents and had passed them on to the Chancellery in advance of the meeting as requested. So it came as somewhat of a shock when the mayor was told Feb. 5 during a phone call from Slawomir Nowak, Head of the Prime Minister’s Political Office, that there was no need for Krakow’s representatives to come to Warsaw for the meeting. In the letter, Majchrowski described the actions of the Prime Minister’s Office as “alarming,” given the fact that a visit from UEFA’s inspectors is scheduled for the near future. He even suggested that the inspectors from European football’s governing body might see the actions as tantamount to a politicization of the selection procedure and judge the application “negatively” as a result. He stressed that the situation was all the more “puzzling” since the UEFA inspectors had rated Krakow very highly when they visited last November. He concluded by suggesting that, in his view, the city was not receiving the equal treatment that had been promised to all the competing cities. In fact, through their actions, the Prime Minister’s Chancellery were even “undermining the solidarity” that had been established between all the relevant parties up to that point.
The mayor received an immediate response from the prime minister who seemingly made little attempt to account for the actions of his Chancellery, but made it very clear that the non-attendance of the Krakow delegation should not be seen as a sign of discrimination. Furthermore, Krakow’s application had most certainly not been rejected and the City would continue to receive the same level of encouragement and financial backing as the other cities on the “reserve list.”