Most MPs support restitution law change, says PM

Poland's prime minister has defended a legislative amendment affecting property restitution claims that has prompted a furious diplomatic response from Israel, arguing that the majority of parliamentarians support the move.

Mateusz Morawiecki added that the amendments, which received the presidential signature on Saturday, are necessary to "cut out all kinds of abuse."

The key change to the administrative law says that 30 years after the application of an administrative decision applying, among others, to properties, it will be impossible to contest it.

The move drew the ire of Israel with Yair Lapid, the Israeli foreign minister, calling the new law "anti-Semitic and immoral," and recalling the country's charge d'affairs "for indefinite consultations."

Lapid also said that the new Israeli ambassador to Warsaw, who was to arrive in Warsaw within days, "will remain in Israel for the time being," and suggested Poland's ambassador to Israel extend his Polish vacation to explain to Poles that Israel "will not tolerate contempt for the memory of the victims and the memory of the Holocaust."

But Morawiecki said the amendment was "supported by a huge majority of parliamentarians, or practically the huge majority of Poles, whom parliamentarians represent."

He added that the amendment had been suggested by the Constitutional Tribunal so that "certain kinds of claims cannot be made indefinitely, and that all kinds of abuse may also be eliminated."

Morawiecki went on to explain that he had in mind abuses concerning "various types of legal representatives" seeking out 120- or even 130-year-olds allegedly still living, who had "signed some kind of document."

"It's a racket in broad daylight, and in order to stop this type of procedure, it was necessary to make those changes," he said. "And I'm glad that the whole of the Polish political class, that a huge part of Polish society, supports such a common sense and, at the same time, just action, which has recently finished its legislative process."