Top Polish politician hints at easing judicial changes

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WARSAW, Poland (TBEN) – Poland’s ruling party leader hinted on Monday that the government is holding back the controversial changes to the judicial system that have become a sticking point among EU officials in Brussels, who say they are violating the rule of law and the coronavirus. could ease recovery funds from Warsaw.

Poland’s most powerful politician, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, told Polish Radio that a thorough reform of the courts implemented by his right-wing government is not possible now.

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He attributes this to the EU’s approach and to decisions taken by previous Polish governments. But his words seemed to indicate that he will no longer insist on the full implementation of his plan.

Kaczynski’s comments come as Poland and the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, continue this week to discuss the milestones Poland must meet, including in the judicial field. The payment of billions of euros in grants and loans to Poland for the EU’s pandemic recovery cannot be released until after Brussels confirms Warsaw has reversed divisive changes.

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Poland’s budget deficit is expected to rise significantly this year due to high spending on social benefits and defense in response to the war in neighboring Ukraine. The EU funds could help the situation.

Kaczynski’s right-wing Law and Justice party took power in 2015. She began to overhaul the judiciary by placing loyalists in key positions and firing judges and prosecutors who criticized her actions. The Polish opposition and the EU say these moves have placed judges under political control, in violation of democratic norms.

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