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Polish Prime Minister ceases Defense and Foreign Affairs incumbents

Ⓒ AFP/Archivos – Attila Kisbenedek – | Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks at a press conference on 3 January in Budapest during an official visit to Hungary

Two heavyweights from the Polish Conservative government, Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, and Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski were dismissed following a government reshuffle officially announced on Tuesday.

In a ceremony at the presidential headquarters broadcast on television, both were replaced by former Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak and Deputy Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, respectively.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, in office since a month ago, carried out this remodeling with the aim of improving tense relations between his Government and the European Commission, with whose president, Jean-Claude Juncker, will meet this Tuesday in Brussels.

Concerned about the situation of the rule of law, particularly the controversial reforms of the judicial system, the Commission triggered a harsh sanctioning procedure that could in the long term end the suspension of Poland’s right of veto within the European Union (EU) .

“We are not at war with Poland,” European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Tuesday, summing up Juncker’s interview with German television.

Ⓒ AFP/Archivos – Wojtek Radwanski – | The Polish Minister of Defense, Antoni Macierewicz, in September 2016 in Warsaw

The Government’s reshuffle included the appointment of new incumbents at the head of three other ministries: Environment, Health and Digitalization.

Most of the ministers who left their portfolios had problems in the exercise of their functions.

Defense Minister Macierewicz, an anti-Communist exopositor, charismatic speaker supported by a part of the conservative electorate but author of controversial statements, was in open conflict with President Andrzej Duda due to the reform of the armed forces.

The head of diplomacy, Witold Waszczykowski, opposed the re-election of former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk for the presidency of the European Council, and could not prevent a degradation of relations with Germany and France.

For its part, Environment Minister Jan Szyszko was at the center of a controversy over the protection of the Bialowieza forest, and Health, Konstanty Radziwill, faced protests by doctors in favor of an increase in spending. in public health.

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