By G9ija

In an apparent reversal of its position on the issue, Poland’s main opposition party Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska, or PO) said it will demand WWII reparations from Germany if elected next year, a move seen as an attempt to render the ruling party’s rhetoric ineffective.

The Sejm, Poland’s 460-member lower house of parliament, on Wednesday passed a resolution calling on Germany to accept “political, historical, legal and financial responsibilities for starting World War II.”

A report on Poland’s losses resulting from the 1939 German invasion was presented on Sept. 1, according to which Germany should pay Poland €1.32 trillion in compensation. Berlin, however, says the matter is closed.

Tomasz Siemoniak, a lawmaker from the Civic Platform, said the opposition would also hold Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s party (ruling Law and Justice, or PiS) accountable for implementation of the parliamentary resolution.

Siemoniak, defense minister during the last PO-led government that ended when PiS came to power in 2015, told the Polsat News channel on Thursday: “I have always been in favor of reparations, you can find my statements from 2017.”

“It is one thing to demand compensation from Berlin for war damages, and another thing to have an anti-German obsession. I do not consider it at all an element of the political war with Germany,” he said.

Poland has long claimed PO to be a “puppet” of German interests in the EU, and has used anti-German rhetoric to shore up support among its voter base.

Siemoniak said PO would use “all the instruments of pressure” on Berlin if it won the vote due in fall 2023.

“In order to get anything from Germany, you need to maintain dialogue with them and correct relations. Reparations must be taken out of the current arsenal of PiS policy,” Siemoniak said.

As many as 418 lawmakers voted for the resolution, while four opposed it.