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New Polish PM vows to focus on economy, social solidarity

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 12.12.2017 18:12
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki vowed on Tuesday that his new conservative government would focus both on economic development and on helping poorer citizens.
PM Mateusz Morawiecki (centre) after his policy speech in parliament on Tuesday. Photo: PAP/Tomasz GzellPM Mateusz Morawiecki (centre) after his policy speech in parliament on Tuesday. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

In a broad-ranging policy speech in parliament outlining his Cabinet’s priorities, Morawiecki said: "Development and social affairs are one and the same thing: a flourishing economy is a prerequisite for a generous social policy.”

Morawiecki, 49, told MPs ahead of a confidence vote in his government expected around midnight: “We want to carry out a great modernisation of Poland” in which national traditions would be an asset, not a hindrance.

He added his government would continue the course of his predecessor as premier, Beata Szydło, whose resignation -- together with that of her Cabinet -- was accepted by Polish President Andrzej Duda on Friday.

Morawiecki, an ex-banker, told MPs in parliament: “The four chronic illnesses of our social and economic life... were poverty, unemployment, a lack of housing and [problems in] the health service.

‘Four Riders of the Apocalypse’

“Of these Four Riders of the Apocalypse, in great degree thanks to our efforts, we can see a significant improvement in the first two.”

He added: “We have started carrying out cheap [housing] construction and repairing the health service.”

Szydło offered to resign on Thursday evening, halfway through her conservative Law and Justice government’s term in office.

Law and Justice (PiS) politicians have said that the change of prime minister reflected the government’s determination to focus on the economy over the next two years.

All government ministers kept their jobs as Poland’s new Cabinet led by Morawiecki was sworn into office on Monday afternoon.

‘New Polish economic and social model’

Morawiecki told deputies on Tuesday that Poland was setting an example for other European countries.

Capitalism in English-speaking countries “is clearly not coping too well with inequalities. French and Italian capitalism is not coping too well with competitiveness,” he said.

“In the new Polish economic and social model we are demonstrating to Europe how social solidarity can be coupled with dynamic economic development.”

On the European Union, Morawiecki told deputies: “The future of the European project is in the balance. We don’t want a two-speed European Union... We don’t agree to dividing Europe into better and worse” countries.


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