Wednesday

22nd Nov 2017

Eurosceptic parties join Polish government

The eurosceptic leader of Polish left-wing party, Self-Defence, is to become deputy prime minister of Poland.

Andrzej Lepper last year signalled he would join up with the ruling conservative Law and Justice party only if it promised to renegotiate Poland's EU accession treaty.

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The former pig farmer is known for calling politicians bandits and for having been jailed for his direct action campaigns such as blocking roads.

Poland's ruling Law and Justice party announced on Thursday (27 April) that it had formed a coalition government with the Self-Defence party and with a breakaway coalition from another populist party, the right-wing League of Polish Families.

Prime minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz has since the election in the autumn struggled to build a majority government or to force an early election.

His party has 156 seats in the 460 member parliament but even with the new coalition his government is 13 seats short of a parliamentary majority.

Mr Lepper's economic policy involves paying stacks of money to the unemployed and attacking the head of the Polish central bank, Leszek Balcerowicz, reports the Financial Times.

"Our main goal is the economy and improving the situation of the people," said Mr Lepper on Thursday promising, he would do a good job of governing Poland, according to the newspaper.

Polish minority government faces baptism of fire

Poland has sworn in a new minority government with neutral experts in key posts, but the rightist Law and Justice party's links with populist eurosceptics could undermine its ability to rule.

Polish MPs boycott EU

On his first day as a fledgling observer in the European Parliament, Andrzej Lepper, leader of Poland's second-most popular party, the radical Peasant Self-Defence Party (Samoobrona), warned that he could pull Poland out of the EU if the terms for membership remain as they are today. Other Polish eurosceptic groups are also boycotting EU institutions.

Analysis

EU 'cannot afford' lengthy German deadlock

Angela Merkel's failure to form a coalition government has raised concerns in Europe that the EU's most powerful country will send the block into paralysis.

MEPs put 'Article 7' against Poland on launch pad

MEPs urged Poland to comply with the EU treaties and to halt the 'reform' of the judiciary that could further undermine the rule of law in the country. Polish PM Beata Szydlo called the vote 'outrageous'.

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