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Thirty years ago, Leszek Balcerowicz unleashed the "shock therapy" that put Poland on the path to rapid economic growth after decades of communist rule. Business boomed, the economy expanded and the former finance minister and central bank chief won plaudits in the West for his reforms. But after three decades of economic progress, Balcerowicz says Poland's ability to keep catching up with the wealthier West is threatened by the policies of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party.

"It’s unacceptable. Unacceptable. That’s why the European Commission has already launched a sanction procedure against Poland for violating the rule of law principle, that of separation of powers, and of independence of courts. These are fundamental principles of European democracy," said the head of the Paris Bar Association, Marie-Aimée Peyron in an interview for TVN24. The French lawyer was referring to a legislation submitted to parliament on December 12 by Poland's ruling PiS party, under which judges could be sacked if they question the legitimacy of its judicial reforms. The bill also says judges must inform their superiors of past membership of political parties and of any activity in non-governmental organisations and on social media.

There was no veto from the Polish prime minister, so the EU climate neutrality goal will still include Poland. Organisations that deal with climate politics note that the only thing Mateusz Morawiecki brought back from Brussels was a 6-month delay in an unchangeable decision. This means that Europe would be the first continent to achieve climate neutrality, and for the moment, the only one.

Questions are being asked of the Supreme Audit Office (NIK) President - on huge sums of money, on how he had 200.000 zlotys at his home, on why he didn't put 2 million zlotys on his asset declaration. "Dziennik Gazeta Prawna" poses these questions about Marian Banaś' assets. Meanwhile, the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau has doubts on the issue. The prosecutor is investigating, and the head of Law and Justice admits that the party hopes the NIK president will be guided by common sense and resign.

Polish judges could be sacked if they question the legitimacy of judicial reforms, under draft legislation that the nationalist government has introduced, in a move set to deepen a row between Brussels and Warsaw over democratic standards. Many Polish judges and legal experts protest against the planned reforms and dismiss them as further violation of the constitution and EU law.

A cave that has become a huge trash heap has now been deemed a health hazard. Spelunkers from the Cave Patrol decided to test dust and particles from the Jaskinia z Filarami in the Sudetes. Unfortunately, the worst fears were confirmed. Among the waste there's mainly asbestos, possibly several tonnes of the dangerous material.

Poland sees limited room for diplomacy and dialogue with Russia, a senior Polish official said, despite attempts by French President Emmanuel Macron to persuade Warsaw to rethink its relationship with Moscow. European Union leaders meeting in Brussels have agreed to extend their main economic sanctions against Russia for six months to the end of July 2020.