PM says defiant gov't ally knew of EU milestones

2022-06-13 12:55 update: 2022-06-21, 09:18
Photo: PAP/Maciej Kulczyński
Photo: PAP/Maciej Kulczyński
Solidary Poland, a small Eurosceptic government ally that has opposed some elements of Poland's deal with the European Commission on an EU-funded recovery plan, has been aware of its conditions for months, said the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki.

Zbigniew Ziobro, leader of Solidary Poland, said on Saturday his party would reject some of the conditions, known as milestones, set by the European Commission in order to release EU post-pandemic funds under Poland's National Recovery Plan (KPO).

But Morawiecki said at a press conference on Monday that Solidary Poland had known about the milestones for months.

"All the ratios, goals and milestones were accepted on April 30, 2021, by the whole cabinet - all those who read the document then are perfectly aware what's in it," the prime minister said.

Ziobro said on Saturday that, "Solidary Poland is not able to support all the milestones, for example taxing the use of internal combustion engines."

Many of the milestones relate to the Polish government abolishing a judicial disciplinary tribunal, which, according to Brussels, lacks sufficient political independence.

Ziobro, who is also justice minister, opposes any changes to the judicial system made at the behest of EU institutions. 

Morawiecki said he also rejected "any ideological insanity," referring to Ziobro's criticism of the European Parliament's plans to gradually phase out petrol and diesel cars, which Ziobro called "ideological madness".

"We'll do everything to prevent the interpretation and implementation of particular indicators from hitting Poles and the Polish society, instead, what should be promoted is what we care most about, which is innovation and a fast-growing economy," Morawiecki said. 

On June 1, the European Commission approved the milestone issues enumerated in the country's National Recovery Plan (KPO) but said that Warsaw must show that they have been met before any payment of post-pandemic recovery funds can be made. 

Originally designed for 2021-27, Poland's EU-funded National Recovery Plan (KPO) is worth EUR 35.4 billion, including EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in loans. (PAP)