Government approves EU recovery plan with the Left and sends it to parliament
Poland's opposition Left block said on Tuesday that the government had accepted its proposals for how money from the European Union's COVID-19 recovery fund should be spent, bringing Polish approval for the plan a step closer. Later that day Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki confirmed the government has adopted a draft law ratifying the EU recovery plan. "We're sending this bill to the parliament" - he said.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the government and the Left party discussed the conditions for the EU recovery plan to be ratified and agreed on a number of key issues. He added that the Left "was the only parliamentary club that submitted detailed proposals".
The prime minister said the points agreed with the Left would be included in the National Recovery Plan.
"Ministers from United Poland (junior coalition partner) have expressed their reservations regarding the ratification on the EU recovery plan" - Morawiecki said and added he hoped for a fruitful cooperation with the party in implementing of a "new deal".
Opposition parties are split on whether to give a divided government the votes it needs to pass legislation necessary for the EU to go ahead with the recovery fund, with some insisting the issue should be used to bring about early elections if the ruling coalition does not have a majority.
"The government agreed to all our conditions," said Robert Biedroń, a member of the European Parliament and one the leaders of the Left.
"There was not a discussion about whether we are going to vote for or against, for us what is important is that the funds reach Poland and go where they are needed."
Biedroń said the Left had secured agreement for the funds to be used to build 75,000 flats for rent, that 850 million euros ($1.03 billion) would be invested in regional hospitals and 300 million euros would go to sectors most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
European Union governments agreed in December that the bloc would borrow 750 billion euros to help it bounce back from the economic damage caused by the pandemic.
However, all of the EU's 27 governments need to ratify the decision to increase the bloc's resources, raising the upper limit for national contributions to the EU budget, for the recovery plan to go ahead.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters, PAP