Polish press celebrates, with caution, Egyptian developments

Polish press celebrates, with caution, Egyptian developments

The press in Poland, a country which threw off the shackles of communism barely over 20 years ago, Saturday celebrated - with some words of caution - the developments in Egypt with the departure from power of Hosny Mubarak, DPA reported.

The conservative daily Rzeczpospolita commented:

"Egypt now has a huge opportunity. It can become the first Arab democracy in the Middle East. The country has great economic potential and the foundations of a civil society are now being formed. A stable and democratic Egypt will be a good fatherland for its citizens and a good neighbour for other countries in the region."

But the paper also sounded a note of caution: "A negative scenario is also possible. Power could be taken over by the popular Muslim Brotherhood. Then Egypt, instead of becoming a democracy, could change into a second Iran. This would be a calamitousdevelopment for Israel and for the Egyptians themselves."

Meanwhile the left-liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza's editor-in-chief commented Adam Michnik - who had been a major critic of Poland's erstwhile communist regime - wrote about the protest movement victory in Egypt:

"It is worth living for such a day. It recalls the most precious hours of the democratic upheaval of 1989, when the communist dictatorships (of Eastern Europe) had to give way to the freedom movement.

"Everyone who took part in Poland's elections in June 1989 and who recall the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet Revolution in then- Czechoslovakia have a right to be joyous," Michnik wrote, also recalling the toppling of communism in the ex-Soviet Union and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine.

However, Michnik had words of warning in recalling the aftermath of those events in Eastern Europe.

"But we cannot forget what happened later on: bloody ethnic and social conflicts, divisions and crises within the camps of the victors, struggles among the new elites.

"The path to freedom and democracy is no stroll in the park," The Gazeta Wyborcza writer concluded.

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