Europe

Polish opposition criticized over recent protests

  • Supporters of the ruling Law and Justice party with a portrait of the leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski as they attend a pro-government rally in front of the presidential palace, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. Political tension is rising between Poland's conservative government and the pro-EU opposition.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    Supporters of the ruling Law and Justice party with a portrait of the leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski as they attend a pro-government rally in front of the presidential palace, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. Political tension is rising between Poland's conservative government and the pro-EU opposition.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters shout slogans during an anti-government demonstration in front of the Constitutional Court, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. Opponents of the country's populist government are staging protests in an appeal to protect the young democracy's constitutional order from a series of government steps they deem anti-democratic. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

    Protesters shout slogans during an anti-government demonstration in front of the Constitutional Court, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. Opponents of the country's populist government are staging protests in an appeal to protect the young democracy's constitutional order from a series of government steps they deem anti-democratic. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of the ruling Law and Justice party shout slogans as they attend a pro-government rally in front of the presidential palace, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. Political tension is rising between Poland's conservative government and the pro-EU opposition.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    Supporters of the ruling Law and Justice party shout slogans as they attend a pro-government rally in front of the presidential palace, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. Political tension is rising between Poland's conservative government and the pro-EU opposition.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

Poland's foreign minister has criticized anti-government protests of the past days, saying they are the work of frustrated opposition politicians who cannot accept their loss of power and the government's popularity.

Witold Waszczykowski spoke to a small number of foreign news outlets early Monday after days of political crisis and street protests. He noted that some Western media reported in "a strange way" what occurred.

In the largest parliamentary crisis in years, opposition lawmakers occupied the speaker's podium on Friday, blocking work on new legislation.

Their protest was sparked by a new plan by the ruling Law and Justice party to limit media access to lawmakers in parliament. Street protests followed all weekend in Warsaw and other cities.