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Poland’s Tusk reshuffles cabinet to release ministers running in European elections

Last year, Poland voted out a hardline right-wing government, but the right is expected to make EU-wide gains next month.


Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Friday announced a reshuffle of his cabinet to replace four ministers running for the European Parliament next month.

The changes are also seen as a chance to bring new energy into Tusk’s government, which took office in December and embarked on deep reforms in many areas, including restoring the independence of the judiciary and the media.

“Today comes the time of bringing order,” Tusk said, “and this is one of the reasons for which we jointly decided to have these changes.”

Tusk’s pro-European Union government has embarked on a bold effort to reverse the policies of its right-wing predecessors, the Law and Justice or PiS party, who put Poland on a collision course with the EU while in government from 2015 to 2023.

The reshuffle came just hours before a major protest planned in Warsaw by PiS, whose members hope to make major gains in the June elections.

They joined with farmers protesting new EU agriculture policies to cut green gas emissions, policies that form part of the European Green Deal.

Culture Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, who spearheaded the change of management at the state TV, radio and news agency, and the minister of the interior and administration, Marcin Kierwinski, have both been replaced.

Also departing are the ministers for state assets, Borys Budka, and for development and technology, Krzysztof Hetman.

The new interior minister is Tomasz Siemoniak, who had served as defence minister in Tusk’s previous government from 2011 to 2015. He retains his job as coordinator of special services at a time of Russia’s war on Poland’s neighbour Ukraine.

The new culture minister is Hanna Wroblewska, while Jakub Jaworowski was put in charge of state assets, where auditing is currently taking place to uncover cases of mismanagement.

Krzysztof Paszyk, an experienced politician and lawmaker, is the new minister of development and technology.

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