Polish recovery plan sent to Brussels, despite divided opinions

Sejm (lower house) at the Polish parliament building in Warsaw, Poland, 18 November 2020. [EPA-EFE/RAFAL GUZ]

Poland will submit its national recovery plan to the European Commission on Friday despite the document still dividing the Polish political scene.

The plan was adopted because of an agreement between the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and the Left, which gave its support for the government’s version of the plan after PiS promised to take into account their demands and create a special committee monitoring the outcomes of the plan.

The move evoked outrage by both the largest opposition group, the Civic Coalition (KO), and the Women’s Strike, known for leading protests against the Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling further restricting the abortion law late last year. The Left coalition was considered at the time as an ally of the strike.

The deadline for the recovery plan did not put an end to the conflict. Civic Coalition’s leader, Borys Budka, announced Thursday that the party will submit a draft “guarantee bill” on the spending of money from the EU recovery fund. The party leader also appealed to the Left not to “enter any deals with the devil”, as he referred to the Law and Justice government.

Even harsher was the Women Strike’s (OSK) leadership, which lambasted leftists for their decision to close a deal with PiS.

OSK gave the Left a 24-hour ultimatum (later prolonged for another 24 hours) to “put themselves together” and withdraw from the agreement with PiS. Otherwise, they tweeted, the Strike “will begin an all-Polish action of getting the idea out of the Left’s head”.

“PiS has to hit the road […] the thuggish, larcenous government will unfortunately not hit the road if the opposition’s idiots will support it in a crucial voting”, said Women’s Strike leaders, Marta Lempart and Klementyna Suchanow.

“We are capable of extending hands to each other, uniting and working together in the moments when it is needed”, commented Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. “As we will receive 770 bln zlotys from the EU funds, we will be able to do even more”, he added.

On 4 May, the parliament’s lower chamber known as the Sejm will consider the draft law on ratifying the decision on the EU recovery fund and the new own resources. The law is expected to be adopted with a simple majority.

PiS has announced that its MPs will be obliged by a voting discipline. It hopes that the alliance with the Left will compensate for the lack of support from coalition partner Solidarity Poland, which continues to strongly oppose the Next Generation EU fund due to the conditionality mechanism combining the EU funds with the rule of law.

(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | EURACTIV.pl)

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