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Last Updated: Monday, 9 June, 2003, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Polish press basks in 'yes' vote
President Kwasniewski addresses jubilant crowd
Vote "good for Poland, good for Europe" - President Kwasniewski

Poland's overwhelming vote in favour of joining the European Union met almost universal acclaim in the country's press on Monday.

With the business sector perhaps standing to gain most from the benefits that EU membership will bring, Puls Biznesu summed up the mood with its headline "It's EUphoria!".

This feeling was shared across the political spectrum with the communist Trybuna greeting readers with a chirpy "Good morning Europe!" and the centre-left Gazeta Wyborcza proclaiming "Yes, we're in the Union".

Our homeland is in the European family of nations - yes to Poland!

The headline in the centre-right Rzeczpospolita picked up on the fears prompted by the low turnout in the first day's polling that not enough votes would be cast to validate the referendum.

"An incredible finish," it declared, "the Poles have opted for Europe".

Gazeta Wyborcza agreed. "The two days of the referendum were like a horror story," it said. "First an earthquake, and the tension rose until the last minute."

'Up to us'

In the end, the paper concluded, "we are joining the EU in the Polish way, but with what style!".

Poland depends on Europe more than ever before

Trybuna described the outcome as "the happiest hour of our lives".

"Our homeland is in the European family of nations," it wrote. "Yes to Poland!"

Rzeczpospolita reflected President Aleksander Kwasniewski's triumphant comments last night that the result was good for Poland and good for Europe.

Speaking of a new chapter in the country's history, the paper said: "Poland depends on Europe more than ever before, but the face of Europe will depend like never before on Poland too."

"But it is now up to us what we make of the future," editor Maciej Lukaszewicz wrote.


Predictably, the almost universal delight was not shared by the right-wing anti-EU newspaper Nasz Dziennik.

The Poles, it said, had been "duped by the propaganda".

With the turnout at just under 60%, the paper pointed out that more than 40% of Poles chose not to take part".

"An aggressive, omnipresent referendum campaign and deceitful propaganda instead of a genuine public awareness campaign," it said, "meant that a broad sweep of our compatriots did not go to the polling stations."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

The BBC's Claire Marshall
"Poland is on track to join the EU"

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09 Jun 03  |  Europe
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Country profile: Poland
01 Jun 03  |  Country profiles

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