Deputy climate minister should get powers back says justice minister

Jacek Ozdoba, the deputy climate minister, was stripped of all responsibilities on Monday. Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister who is also the leader of Solidary Poland, a junior party in Poland’s coalition government, has demanded that the prime minister re-instate the powers of a deputy minister who is also a Solidary Poland member.

Jacek Ozdoba, the deputy climate minister, was stripped of all responsibilities on Monday for publicly criticising, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister.

However, he was not dismissed from the ministry.

The dispute surrounding Ozdoba will put more pressure on a tense relationship between Ziobro and Morawiecki that has unsettled the United Right, Poland's government.

The two have clashed over Europe with Ziobro opposing any concessions to the EU in a protracted dispute that has resulted in Poland having its access to billions of euros in funding blocked.

"I have demanded the reinstatement (of Ozdoba – PAP) but have not had a chance to discuss this issue yet. It is something that I have demanded and we will be persistent here," Ziobro said in an interview with the Polsat News channel on Thursday.

"We will not allow such a capable minister who is effectively fighting the 'garbage mafia', which is a very dangerous group of criminals that is causing major damage in Poland by bringing garbage from all over the world to Poland and littering our country," said Ziobro, adding that he would not stand for the shunting aside of a deputy climate minister who has achieved "only successes".

When asked if Ozdoba was right to say the government, of which he is a member, had achieved nothing more than a "string of failures", Ziobro replied that Ozdoba was also a spokesperson for Solidary Poland and said that the deputy minister had reacted to "false information from the prime minister's circles that had appeared in the media concerning a course of actions taken by the Council of Ministers."

"This was falsely presented," he added.

"We will not remain silent, we will not allow anyone to insult us, lie or spread false information," he said.

Earlier, Ziobro had told the conservative weekly Sieci that "if it weren't for the fact that leaving the coalition would mean handing Poland over to Donald Tusk, the paths of Solidary Poland and (governing party - PAP) Law and Justice would have parted ways."

Tusk is the leader of Poland's main opposition party.