Gov't spokesman says justice reforms not efficient enough
The Polish government spokesman has expressed disappointment with changes to the justice system introduced by Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister.
Piotr Mueller told Wirtualna Polska, an online news service, on Monday, that the Polish justice system was not efficient enough.
"The efficiency (of the reforms - PAP) is not satisfactory when compared to what we assumed at the very beginning, in 2015," Mueller said.
"I think Minister Ziobro himself is not satisfied with how efficient the justice system is," he added.
The government spokesman admitted there were differences of opinion between the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, and his justice minister, and said more could have been done in the area of digitisation of the justice system.
Mueller's criticism highlighted the divisions separating the prime minister and Ziobro, who leads Solidary Poland, a junior ally in the coalition government.
Morawiecki and Ziobro disagree in their approach to EU policy, with the prime minister seeming to be more pragmatic in relations with Brussels, while Ziobro, a Eurosceptic, opposes any concessions towards the EU.
Poland has been in conflict with the European Commission (EC) over the country's overhaul of the justice system, which the EC says has infringed upon EU values and undermined rule of law in Poland.
Recently, the Polish government has agreed to a number of concessions, or milestones, in order to gain access to EU post-pandemic funding worth EUR 35.4 billion, but Ziobro has said concessions would bring no gain to Poland.
Morawiecki rejected this and said on Friday that "99 percent of the milestones are totally in line with Poland's interests."
He added that he "wouldn't like to die for the justice system." This, in turn, triggered a response from Ziobro who said on Sunday that "the green light to changes in the justice system ended with the departure of Beata Szydlo," referring to Morawiecki taking over the prime minister's post from Szydlo in 2017.
The dispute between the two has prompted speculation that it could bring down the coalition government. But Morawiecki's Law and Justice party, the dominant force in the coalition, is dependent on Solidary Poland's support so internal rifts may be tolerated to avoid a governmental collapse.