Polish nation passes coronavirus crisis test - PM

According to Morawiecki, the previous government, the Civic Platform (PO) - Polish People's Party (PSL) coalition of 2007-2015, would not have been able to manage the pandemic situation in a better way than the present one due to a "gigantic budget gap." Marcin Obara/PAP

The entire Polish nation has managed to pass the unprecedented test in the midst of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic due to unity and solidarity, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters on Tuesday.

"The coronavirus pandemic is a crisis we haven't seen in decades, we have avoided threats, the entire nation passed the test because we have been together and let's be together," he said at a press conference in Warsaw, held jointly with Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski and Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński.

Summing up the government's actions to contain the crisis, Morawiecki said that Poland was one of the first countries to close borders and introduce sanitary border controls. He also said that just a few days after confirming the first coronavirus infection the country introduced a ban on organising mass gatherings, which "in the richest countries of the world led to great tragedies, to apocalyptic images, to tens of thousands of people dying alone."

According to Morawiecki, the analyses of various institutes show that Poland is in the lead as the country that has "saved every person, saved everyone from dying alone." He pointed to the number of Poland's coronavirus deaths per million was on average 15 times lower than in Western European countries.

The prime minister also slammed the opposition's lack of cooperation with the government during the latter's efforts to contain the negative effects of the coronavirus epidemic.

"The beginning of the pandemic was a time when we needed unity; together with President Andrzej Duda, we invited the opposition to talks, some of the prominent opposition politicians instead of ensuring peacefulness and helping, threw sand in our faces," Morawiecki told a press conference in Warsaw.

"Dignity and human life are the highest values for the current government (...) but there were, unfortunately, people who did not want to cooperate, " he said pointing to "a prominent section of opposition activists."

According to Morawiecki, the previous government, the Civic Platform (PO) - Polish People's Party (PSL) coalition of 2007-2015, would not have been able to manage the pandemic situation in a better way than the present one due to a "gigantic budget gap."

"At the time, due to the budget situation the state would not have been able to afford such a defence," he said.

In Morawiecki's opinion, the present government is united and speaks in a single voice. Thanks to this as well as "thanks to discipline, the coherence of the Polish nation" the fight against the epidemic is "victorious."

The prime minister thanked Szumowski and Kamiński "for those difficult decisions", "brave decisions that saved Poland from the cataclysm we saw in Western Europe."