Warsaw will not give in to pressure over legal changes: PM
PR dla Zagranicy
The Polish government will “not give in to pressure” at home and abroad to stop controversial changes to the country’s judicial system, Prime Minister Beata Szydło has said.
Beata Szydło. Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk
In a special address on Thursday evening broadcast on state television, Szydło vowed: “We will not give in to pressure. We will not allow ourselves to be scared by Polish and foreign defenders of the interests of the elite."
A US state department spokeswoman has said that America is worried about Poland’s planned overhaul of the justice system, adding that Washington will continue to watch the situation in Warsaw.
The European Commission earlier this week said it was ready to take action against Poland for violating EU laws.
In her address, Szydło said: “There is no democratic control over the judicial corporation” in Poland.
“We want to introduce this, as is the case in Western European countries: Germany, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium."
Her comments came as thousands staged a protest on Thursday night in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw against controversial legal changes, calling on the head of state to veto the reforms.
Poland's ruling conservatives have said sweeping changes are needed to reform an inefficient and sometimes corrupt judicial system.
On Friday, the Polish Senate is to consider the government’s Supreme Court reform bill, passed in the lower house on Thursday, which, if it becomes law, will force all of the court’s current judges into retirement and give the president powers to choose who to reinstate.
Supporters of Szydło’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party have criticised Polish courts for taking too long to hear cases, and have accused judges of being an elite, self-serving clique often out of touch with the problems of ordinary citizens.