Polish PM announces changes to gov't line-up

Mateusz Marek/PAP

The Polish prime minister in the long-expected government reshuffle has named new agriculture, climate and development and technology ministers, and reinstated the Ministry of Sports and Tourism.

The changes, announced on Tuesday, came in the wake of turbulence in Mateusz Morawiecki's government in August, due to the dismissal of Deputy PM and Development Minister Jaroslaw Gowin.

Gowin, who leads Agreement, a small party that was once a member of the ruling United Right coalition, was fired due to his criticism of government-promoted economic reforms.

President Andrzej Duda appointed all the nominees to their respective posts at a ceremony held in the Presidential Palace later in the day.

The president told the new ministers that the "Presidential Palace is open to you," and encouraged them to "work together."

Duda also said their main task would be "to make sure that the standard of living of Poles constantly improves."

Duda appointed Henryk Kowalczyk the new agriculture minister and additionally a deputy prime minister. In the United Right government, Kowalczyk was the head of the Council of Ministers' Standing Committee, the head of the Council of Ministers' Economic Committee, the chairman of the parliamentary finance committee and a temporary environment minister. He will replace Grzegorz Puda, who has become minister of funds and regional policy.

Anna Moskwa was appointed the new climate minister, replacing Michal Kurtyka. Moskwa served as an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Maritime Economy and later became acting deputy minister.

Piotr Nowak was appointed the new minister of development and technology, a function temporarily taken over by Morawiecki after dismissing Gowin.

Nowak was a deputy finance minister and most recently an advisor to the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as a deputy director of the IMF's monetary policy and capital markets department.

The position of sports and tourism minister was offered to Kamil Bortniczuk, once one of Gowin's closest allies within Agreement. Bortniczuk, a former Agreement spokesman, was also a secretary of state at the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy. He left Agreement in early 2021 after a feud within the party.

Since the government crisis in August, the United Right has managed to take over a number of Gowin's MPs and also signed an agreement with a few fringe party MPs to secure majority in the lower house of parliament.