Government preparing 'plan b' in case budget talks fail - PM

Morawiecki reiterated his government’s opposition to the budget, saying that in its current form it "breaks European treaties." Paweł Supernak/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, said his government is working on a “Plan B” in case Poland is unable to reach an agreement with Brussels on the next EU budget.

Poland and the EU have been at loggerheads over the budget, with Warsaw threatening to veto it unless a clause linking funding to respect for the rule of law is removed.

At a Friday press conference the prime minister said “Plan B”, an alternative financial programme, was being prepared, and that the government was “taking into consideration” the possibility that no deal with Brussels could be struck.

Morawiecki said that the government was in the process of developing an investment programme that would support projects already in progress, "so they will not be halted - support for those projects that will be carried out with a share of the EU funds."

He said if there was any disruption, then he wanted government programmes to step in, claiming that measures introduced to support businesses during the pandemic demonstrated that the government could intervene, if needed

Local government officials, the prime minister added, also knew that the government had launched a state-funded investment programme worth billions of zlotys.

The funds, Morawiecki said, were "for expanding and modernising the road network, for renovating schools and hospitals, for fibre optics, water pipes and sewage, and various types of structural investments that will help towns, municipalities and districts in their investments."

Morawiecki also reiterated his government’s opposition to the budget, saying that in its current form it "breaks European treaties."

"It breaches basic principles, basic laws," he said. "That is why we, also caring about the future of the entire European Union, have clearly told our partners that it (the rule-of-law clause - PAP) cannot be accepted by us in the form that it was proposed."

In 2021 and subsequent years, added the prime minister, the Polish government intends to "focus very strongly" on its investment programme, and the modernisation of the economy.