Opposition leader sets out conditions for National Recovery Plan

Budka said the five conditions were "essential for funds granted from the National Recovery Plan to be spent in a transparent, honest, just and effective way." Piotr Nowak/PAP

The leader of Poland’s biggest opposition party has set out five conditions he says will ensure spending on the National Recovery Plan is “honest and effective”.

Borys Budka, the head of Civic Platform, laid out the conditions at a press conference on Thursday.

The National Recovery Plan spells out how the government will spend its share of the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility. Some EUR 23 billion in subsidies and EUR 34 billion in loans are earmarked for Poland to help it recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.

Budka said the five conditions were "essential for funds granted from the National Recovery Plan to be spent in a transparent, honest, just and effective way."

The first, he said, is to earmark 40 percent of the funds to local governments.

"This is a guarantee that the funds will be spent in a reliable, honest and effective way," Budka said.

The second condition is to focus spending on "clean public transport, on clean air and matters connected with waste management, but without excluding big cities, agglomerations and urban centres."

The third condition, he added, concerns medical services, which "have become utterly neglected by (ruling party Law and Justice - PAP) PiS in recent times.""A concrete sum of money should be earmarked here, thanks to which all cancelled procedures will be carried out... and for local government and state hospitals to be equipped with the necessary equipment to ensure that these treatments are performed," Budka said.

The PO leader said the last two demands were formal conditions. The first is to ensure the National Recovery Plan is approved by the Joint Government and Local Government Commission, with the second being the formation of a committee to monitor the plan, "which must be made up in equal parts of government, state and local government officials and social representatives."

A draft of the National Recovery Plan was published by the government in March but will not undergo consultation until early April.