In Kraków, the opposition councillors from Law and Justice (PiS) petitioned for Ms Radwańska to be awarded the freedom of the city. But the councillors backing the present mayor of Kraków Jacek Majchrowski, who have a majority on the council, opposed the move.
The arguments that were presented by councillors from Civic Platform (PO), “Modern” and other supporters of Mayor Majchrowski were that Agnieszka Radwańska was too young to receive such an honour (she is only 30 years old), and that she had not done enough, in their opinion, to promote the city of Kraków outside Poland. But one Civic Platform (PO) senior councillor admitted that many members were unhappy about the Radwański’s family’s support for conservative causes.
Agnieszka Radwańska is by far the most famous Polish tennis player ever. She was born in Kraków and began her tennis career there. She won 20 WTA tournaments, a Masters title in 2015 and was a singles finalist at Wimbledon. Her highest ranking on the circuit was second, but she stayed in the top ten of women’s tennis for many years. She ended her tennis career at the end of 2018 due to health problems.
Ms Radwańska lives and pays her taxes in Kraków. She has made no secret of her Catholic faith and has on a few occasions attended conservative events such as those in memory of the Smolensk tragedy victims. She is one of the best known Polish sports figures who was engaged in a global sport.
Jacek Majchrowski was elected Mayor of Kraków for a fifth consecutive term last year. He was backed by a coalition made up of the Civic Platform, “Modern”, the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), the Polish People’s Party (PSL) as well as independents who support him. The coalition which campaigned for his re-election is virtual mirror image of the “European Coalition” (KE) that is standing at national level as the main opposition to the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) in the European elections which are to take place on Sunday, May 26.
No prisoners taken
The decision to block the honour for Ms Radwańska because of her conservative views is an eye opener for the way Polish politics is being conducted. It signals that there will be no prisoners taken, should the KE succeed in replacing PiS in government in the autumn. Sympathisers of the current administration, even among the sporting community and the entertainment industry are likely to find themselves, at the very least, marginalised or even ostracised.
However, it may not stop there. Senior KE figures have already threatened that the new government would aim to put senior PiS figures before the Tribunal of state and the criminal courts for breaches of the constitution and other alleged misdemeanours. They have also said that they would disband public TV and radio, the Anti-Corruption Agency and the Institute for National Remembrance. A large-scale purge of public administration and the judiciary is also likely in retaliation for the sweeping changes which were made by the present PiS administration when it arrived in office.