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    ‘We have always been part of the West’: 10 key quotes from Andrzej Duda’s speech

    The first three days of May in Poland are ‘a great patriotic-historical marathon, showing where we come from, where we are, but perhaps above all, looking through the prism of our history, where we are heading or where we should be heading,’ said President Andrzej Duda today during his speech at Castle Square in Warsaw. We have selected for our readers 10 key quotes from the President of the Republic of Poland’s speech.

    On May holidays

    “The first three days of May in Poland are ‘a great patriotic-historical marathon, showing where we come from, where we are, but perhaps above all, looking through the prism of our history, where we are heading or where we should be heading.'”

    On 35 years of freedom

    “Today, after 35 years of freedom, true sovereignty, presence in the EU, NATO, our Homeland – with each passing day – looks better and better thanks to the wisdom of Polish politicians, decisions made over the past decades, thanks to the daily work of Poles who build the Fatherland, but also thanks to previous generations.”

    On Poland’s place in Europe

    “In fact, we have always been part of the West. We are and have always been, regardless of what happened, whether Poland was on the map or not. Whether it was sovereign or not. Whether attempts were made to promote the Russian world here or not. It never succeeded thanks to the resilience of the Polish spirit and our deepest-rooted tradition, 1058 years of Christian tradition.”

    On a strong Polish army

    “We must continue to build the Polish army today – as a modern army, as a strong army, an army that potentially will be able to stop any aggressor, and therefore no one will dare to attack us. This is the most important task – that we have such an army that does not have to defend itself.”

    On investment courage

    “Poles are waiting for investment courage because we not only want to be one of the countries in Europe, but we want to be part of Western Europe also in terms of infrastructure, economically. We want the center to be here. (…) Do not listen to those who ridicule investments, sometimes ones that are worth billions, but which also serve strategic interests. We are a country that can afford such investments and finally we are doing it. Poland deserved it for a long time.”

    On energy modernization

    “We need the modernization of Polish energy and nuclear power plants are indispensable to us; we must cooperate with those who know how to do it – with the United States.”

    On sovereignty

    “At all costs, we must defend Polish sovereignty and Polish independence, this is today our greatest duty, the most important of all.”

    On Russian imperialism

    “A monster has revived, one of the most dangerous that exist for us – Russian imperialism. The voracious monster, the dragon that has often devoured us in history, today tries to devour the Ukrainian nation, their lands, and their state. Thank you for supporting them all (…) You have provided us with a beautiful testimony to the whole world with your extraordinary attitude.”

    On EU funds

    “We do not receive European funds to make us feel good. This is not the grace of Western Europe. These are funds so that (…) money can also be earned here, so that a businessman from Spain or Portugal can do it.”

    On fighting corruption

    “[CBA] is an extremely important office, which as you know perfectly well – especially those who remember the Rywin affair and all the scandals – played a great role in changing the Polish mentality in this aspect. (…) This is one of the miracles that have occurred in our country over the past twenty-five years. This is a great achievement of our society because it was they who opposed it. It was social opposition that allowed for a tough fight against corruption, which brought such a spectacular success.”

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