PM Szydło announces roadmap 18.11.2015 11:35 Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło has announced the roadmap for the first 100 days of the Law and Justice (PiS) government.
Beata Szydło during her speech on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak Beata Szydło during her speech on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak
"Today, we are starting our four-year contract with Poles,” Szydło said in her first address as PM in the Sejm lower house of Polish parliament.
“If Poles are pleased with the changes, I believe that we can extend the contract for another four years,” Szydło said.
“During the 100 days we want to implement an allowance of PLN 500 for each child. A child is not a burden, it's an investment,” Szydło said.
Among the other important milestones of her new government, the PM reiterated her promise to lower the retirement age to 60 years for women and 65 years for men, as well as to introduce a tax-free bracket for Poles earning less than PLN 8,000 (EUR 1,882, USD 2,008)
PM Szydło also said the country will introduce free medicines for Poles over the age of 75, as well as increase the minimum hourly wage in Poland to PLN 12.
The main subjects:
• A PLN trillion will be earmarked to develop the economy.
Few people expected that PiS would be so quick to pass their party line legislation in various political bodies. But it is happening and seems that PiS is trying to accumulate the whole power in the country. Sejm passes amendment to Constitutional Tribunal bill 19.11.2015 18:19 An amendment to a bill related to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal was passed late on Thursday by the Sejm lower house of parliament. Opposition MPs leave the voting hall in protest against the bill. Photo: PAP/Tomasz GzellOpposition MPs leave the voting hall in protest against the bill. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell
As many as 268 MPs of the 460-seat house voted in favour of the amendment – all from the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party.
MPs from the opposition Civic Platform (PO), Nowoczesna (Modern) party, and the Polish People's Party (PSL) groupings left the hall for the time of the voting, meaning there were no votes against the amendment, and no abstentions.
Earlier, PO MPs announced that they would reject the draft, which provides for, among others, the re-election of five judges of the Constitutional Tribunal.
Three judges on the Tribunal had their terms expire in recent weeks, with two more seeing their terms expire in early December.
Polish President Andrzej Duda has not extended the terms of the rest of the Tribunal members.
The passed amendement will see five judges standing for reelection to the Tribunal.
“In 2005-2007 the Constitutional Tribunal was the most effective bulwark to the realisation of PiS's aims,” tweeted political analyst at SWPS University, Ben Stanle - See more at: www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/229619,Sejm-passes-amendment-to-Constitutional-Tribunal-bill#sthash.9TL1YoZH.dpuf
The new conservative government of Prime Minister Beata Szydło has removed the European Union flag from the prime minister’s weekly press conference in a symbolic move that reflects the new regime’s Euroskeptic stance and its focus on national values.
Opposition leaders were irritated and the global media surprised to see EU flags missing from the room where Polish prime ministers hold official press conferences. EU flags have also been removed from many government buildings.
During a press briefing held Nov. 24 at the Prime Minister’s Office in Warsaw, Beata Szydło, spoke with only the Polish flag behind her. The EU flag had been displayed in the room alongside the Polish one ever since Poland joined the EU in 2004. Former foreign minister Grzegorz Schetyna, who is running in elections to choose a new leader for the now opposition Civic Platform (PO) party, said after Szydło’s press conference that removing the EU flag was a “path to a PR disaster as well as a political one.” Schetyna, who chairs the lower house’s committee on foreign affairs, added that Poles and the parliament strongly objected to such “anti-European policies.”
Ewa Kopacz, the prime minister in the former PO government, said that the absence of the EU flag was a sign of disrespect and a desire to demonstrate that the country’s EU membership “is not that important to Poland.”
“Being in the EU today is as important as looking after [the country’s] security,” said Kopacz. “The EU and Poland’s membership of it are what makes us feel secure. We definitely cannot guarantee security for the Polish people on our own, but we surely stand a better chance of doing so as part of the European community.” According to Kopacz, removing the EU flag sends an undesirable signal to the EU. She added, “I can see no reason why Poland should try to shy away from being identified with the EU.”
In response to the criticism, Elżbieta Witek, the spokeswoman for the new government, said she could not see why journalists were so focused on the EU flags. “The EU flag is there in the room where Cabinet sessions are held and it is there in front of the room,” said Witek. “But this was a press conference that followed a session of the Polish government.”
Neither Polish opposition leaders nor European politicians and journalists found that explanation convincing. The bluntest comment came from former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, who wrote on Twitter: “So you don’t want the flag, but you still want the EU money?”
The international media said the new Polish government’s seemingly insignificant gesture was intended as a message that under its new right-wing government, Poland would distance itself from the EU rather than pursue stronger European integration.
One hundred days of PiS government in focus February 25, 2016
February 24 marked the initial 100 days in power of the Law and Justice (PiS) government led by Beata Szydlo. During this time the governing majority has conducted its legislative blitz to deliver on its long series of campaign vows.
A recent IBRIS poll shows that the incumbent government has a net negative job rating of 7 pps, with 48% of negative reviews and 41% of positive reviews.
The government's honey moon did not last long due to controversial changes in key state institutions, especially the Constitutional Tribunal and the public media, the daily Rzeczpospolita writes.
At the same time, half of the surveyed Poles believe the government is not implementing its election promises. In a way the more politically oriented wing of the government under the behind-the-scenes leadership of Jaroslaw Kaczynski damages the economically and socially oriented wing led by Szydlo, according to the daily.
A survey by researcher CBOS shows that the governing party PiS lost some 4 pps in voter support to 34% in the first 100 days in power, second biggest decline among all previous governing parties. Only centrist Civic Platform (PO) during the second government of Donald Tusk recorded a deeper slump in voter support during the first 100 days. In 2005, the previous PiS government gained as much as 7 pps in voter support after the first 100 days of its coalition government.
According to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily, the biggest success of the government is the adoption of PiS flagship child subsidy program PLN 500 Plus. PiS managed to introduce a new bank tax but it lagging behind with introduction of the planned retailer tax.
The adopted child subsidy program could bring a quality change in Poland's social policy and convince Poles to have more children, but it is so generous that no other benefit hikes will be possible, the daily Rzeczpospolita writes.
Also, implementation of other election promises could be a big burden to the public finance.
The Polish government's main task for the next two years should be to realize that under current circumstances there is no more room for further spending increase, Rzeczpospolita writes. The government should refrain from cutting Corporate Income Tax CIT for SMEs, lowering retirement age, raising the standardized deduction in PIT or restructuring FX mortgages, Rzeczpospolita writes Instead, it should concentrate on bolstering economic growth, which the strategy of Development Minister Mateusz Morawiecki can deliver if the governing party starts to implement it.
Polish gov’t has more supporters than opponents: poll 15.12.2016 16:53 Thirty-seven percent of Poles say they support the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government, while 35 percent say they oppose it, according to a new survey.
The number of supporters stayed the same as in November while the amount of opponents has risen from 32 percent.
The study carried out earlier this month by pollster CBOS found that 45 percent were happy with Beata Szydło as prime minister, up 1 percentage point on November.
Meanwhile, 40 percent were dissatisfied with Szydło as premier, 2 percentage points down on November. And 15 percent said they were indifferent.
The study was carried out 1-11 December on a random sample of 1,136 adults.