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Poland’s terrible twins

Poland's president and prime minister, former freedom fighters, are reintroducing the habits of authoritarianism

By Hilary Davies   May 2007

Before Lech Kaczynski and his identical twin brother Jaroslaw became, respectively, president and prime minister of Poland in 2005, a mocked-up group photo of the future president standing in a row with the rest of Europe’s leaders did the email rounds among Poland’s intelligentsia. “Think before you vote!” read the caption. The head of the diminutive Lech reached, on average, elbow level of the other leaders.

Poland’s twin leadership have indeed stuck out like two sore thumbs in Europe from the moment they entered office. They squat like garden gnomes on Europe’s political landscape, a grumpy Tweedledum and Tweedledee whose…

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