Cameron incompetent on EU affairs, says Polish minister

A leading Polish politician believes UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron is incompetent in handling European affairs.

In a secretly taped conversation between Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and former Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski, Mr Sikorski is heard accusing Mr Cameron of engaging in “stupid propaganda” to appease Tory Eurosceptics.

The secretly taped recordings of their conversations this spring were printed in Monday's edition of Polish magazine Wprost and translated by Open Europe.

Mr Rostowski says Mr Cameron “thinks he’ll go renegotiate (EU rules on freedom of movement) and come back, no Polish government could agree to it. Except in return for a mountain of gold.”

Mr Sikorski replies: “It’s either a very badly thought through move, or, not for the first time a kind of incompetence in European affairs. Remember? He f***** up the fiscal pact. He f***** it up. Simple as that. He is not interested, he does not get it, he believes in the stupid propaganda, he stupidly tries to play the system… his whole strategy of feeding [his critics] scraps in order to satisfy them is just as I predicted, turning against him; he should have said, f*** off, tried to convince people and isolate [the sceptics]. But he ceded the field to those that are now embarrassing him.”

Mr Rostowski says the impact of Britain leaving the EU “will generally be bad for us, because we would like for Great Britain to stay. I think it’ll be the case that [Mr Cameron] will lose the elections. Great Britain will leave. Once they do, they’ll keep open borders. Not for [gypsy] beggars.”

Reacting to the leaks, the prime minister's spokeswoman said: "On the broader issue the prime minister has been very clear that support for the EU in the UK is wafer thin. There is real disillusionment amongst British voters about the EU. We need to look at how we reform the EU so that it better focuses the issues people care about – growth and jobs – and addresses and confronts some of the challenges there are.

"Clearly abuse of the right to free movement is one of those issues where people have concerns and where we think it is absolutely right to have a discussion and look at what can be done."

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