Tusk re-election would sow disunity in EU: Polish PM

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo confirmed she would officially block the final statement from Thursday's European Union summit, after leaders re-elected Donald Tusk as the bloc's president despite Warsaw's opposition.

PM Beata Szydlo has also written a letter to EU leaders saying Mr Tusk has "violated multiple times his European mandate" by getting involved in Polish political disputes and supporting the opposition to the government.

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel warned that frustration with Poland among European Union member states lingered, and that "behaviour like yesterday's is not acceptable".

Poland's nationalist government has proposed little-known Polish EU lawmaker Jacek Saryusz-Wolski to replace Tusk, whose current term ends May 31.

"Why don't we respect each other, listen to each other?"

That hope fell away on Thursday when Mr Orban, arriving at the summit meeting, indicated he would not oppose the choice of Mr Tusk.

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She said she had reminded leaders they too could be steamrolled. "There is no need for hurry, no need to make the decision today", Waszczykowski said on Poland's TVN24 television. "In the treaty it says the conclusions can only be accepted consensually by the Council".

However, to reject the entire text - which ranges from migration to deeper defence cooperation - is a different matter. "There is an overwhelming support for President Tusk's re-election", Joseph Muscat told reporters.

"We will find a way out", he told journalists. However, Poland has refused to sign final declaration of the summit, taking a stand against its politician.

"We can't allow a risky precedent where the democratically elected government of a member country is politically attacked by the president of the European Council", Szydlo said in the letter, stopping short of citing Tusk by name.

With British Prime Minister Theresa May attending her last such summit before she formally launches the two-year Brexit process later this month, the remaining 27 European Union leaders have bigger problems to worry about than the Council chair.

Szydlo, whose rightwing Eurosceptic Law and Justice party has nursed a long and bitter rivalry with Tusk, nominated a rival candidate for EU Council president but did not receive any support from the other EU member states.

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"I don't see how one country could oppose this solution when all the others are in favor", said French President Francois Hollande, echoing comment from numerous bloc's 28 leaders. "I can only state that I will continue to work for a better and more united Europe with all member states, without exception".

His institutional account instead showed a post written in English: "Grateful for trust and positive assessment by European Council".

Tusk said that he wasn't responsible for any "clashes".

France's socialist president, Francois Hollande, said earlier this week that he had no reason to back off supporting Tusk "even if, with a view to political balance, it would be the turn of a socialist - I try to have a vision that is more European than partisan or national".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also defended the result. "We can not hide this, this country is Germany", Kaczynski told reporters in Warsaw.

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