Dep Sejm speaker says PM's talk of WWIII was a metaphor
The deputy speaker of the Polish parliament has played down talk by the prime minister that the imposition of sanctions by the EU on Poland could start a "third world war"
Ryszard Terlecki, who is also a member of Law and Justice, Poland’s ruling party, also said Poland did not want a major conflict with the EU, but would not retreat from its position in the dispute.
Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, made the claim in an interview with the Financial Times, which was published on Monday.
He said by threatening Poland with sanctions the EU "was holding a gun at Poland's head," and warned that any attempt to withhold Poland's recovery funding would start "a third world war".
"This was a kind of metaphor," said Terlecki. "Of course, we don't want a big brawl with the EU, but neither will we give up easily here. Of course we're not really talking about a war, but we will not back down."
The European Commission has threatened Poland with sanctions, including withholding funding from a pandemic recovery fund, after the Polish Constitutional Tribunal ruled that key elements of EU law were incompatible with the Polish constitution and questioned the primacy of EU law over national legislation, a key tenet of EU membership.
The conflict is part of a broader rule of law dispute between Poland and the EU, triggered by changes in the country's judicial system which the EU claims restrict its independence
Terlecki also said that a government reshuffle can be expected this week but the changes will not be big.
There has been speculation of a cabinet reshuffle in Poland for while following hints from members of the government and leaders of Law and Justice, Poland’s governing party.