Barbs fly in heated debate on Poland in EU parliament

A member of Poland's ruling party has lashed out during a heated debate in the European Parliament, accusing the EU of waging an illegal "crusade against Poland." Ryszard Legutko also targeted the German media, accusing them of holding an "anti-Polish orgy."

In turn, others sharply criticized Poland's direction under its right-wing ruling party, with the parliament's liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt saying the Polish government "has lost its senses." Gianni Pittella, leader of an alliance of Socialists and Democrats, accused Warsaw of showing "scorn for liberal democracy."

The debate in Strasbourg on Wednesday comes amid a standoff between the Polish government and the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm.

The Commission says new laws in Poland undermine judicial independence and the rule of law. Poland insists the EU has no right to interfere.