Senators to deal with the govt's 'anti-crisis’ shield on Monday - CIS

On Saturday morning, Poland's Sejm passed three draft bills introducing the so-called anti-crisis shield, which were to support the health service in combating the coronavirus epidemic, as well as offset the negative effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the Polish economy. Leszek Szymański/PAP

Senate Speaker Tomasz Grodzki, after a consultation with the Council of Elders, decided to change a Senate sitting on the government's anti-crisis shield from Tuesday to Monday, the Senate Information Centre (CIS) said on Saturday evening.

The Senate's Monday sitting is due to begin at 3 pm.

On Saturday morning, Poland's Sejm passed three draft bills introducing the so-called anti-crisis shield, which were to support the health service in combating the coronavirus epidemic, as well as offset the negative effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the Polish economy.

The proposed legislation comprises five pillars, including the protection of jobs, healthcare funding, financial system stability, support for businesses and public investment.

"We are determined in the Senate to pass a good law as soon as possible, which will help Polish employees, employers, mothers on benefits, local government and in the end, and perhaps above all, protect health," Grodzki said.

He added that due to appeals from the government and economists, he had decided to bring forward the sitting, initially planned to be held on Tuesday. He also declared a full disposition to cooperate with the Polish government and appealed to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to improve this project before Monday's sitting.

Grodzki said that the Senate has to work on the bill very carefully and, even if the opposition's amendments are necessary, "forces must be joined in the fight against the virus for the good of Poles".

Earlier on Saturday, President Andrzej Duda appealed to Grodzki to proceed with the anti-crisis shield as soon as possible in the Senate: "We both agreed that the bill should be ready for my signature before April 1. It is important. Every day counts," the president tweeted on Saturday.

After that, Grodzki declared that work on the anti-crisis package would be accelerated in the upper chamber.

"If we receive documents from the Sejm (lower house) on Saturday evening, Senate committees will meet on Monday morning and a plenary session of the upper chamber will be held on Monday afternoon," he told reporters.