Today’s news round up in Poland
Start your day with a summary of today’s top stories from Poland’s leading news sites.
Wyborcza.pl – The biggest private daily wrote that Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, will probably sign into law a bill on changes within the Supreme Court and then send it to the Constitutional Tribunal. The bill is one of the milestones Poland needs to fulfil to get access to EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in cheap loans from the EU's post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience Facility. The EC has blocked Poland's access to the funding due to a rule-of-law dispute. MPs of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party have tabled a bill amending the law on the Supreme Court to satisfy one of the rule-of-law milestones set by the EC. The bill is now being discussed in the Senat which probably will propose several changes but they can be overturn by the ruling majority in the Sejm, the lower house of parliament. According to Wyborcza.pl, PiS is rather worried about the president’s decision, as in December 2022, Duda said that he would not allow “for the introduction of any legislation that would undermine judicial nominations and that would allow for the verification of appointments made by the Polish president.”
TVPInfo.pl – The state-owned TV news channel carried a story on obesity around the world based on the latest report of Our World in Data. In Europe, 58.7 percent of people are overweight or obese. The most obese country in Europe is the UK with 63.7 percent of obese people. In Poland, overweight or obese people account for 58.3 percent but, as TVPInfo.pl wrote, this is not a reason for optimism. Our World in Data compared the latest numbers with numbers from 1975. Then only 40.2 percent of Poles were overweight or obese. Obesity is the fourth major health risk factor in Poland, and in 2019 was the reason for premature death of over 50.000 Poles.
rp.pl – According to the daily Rzeczpospolita, changes to the electoral code adopted last week by the Sejm (lower house of the parliament) may increase the number of voters even by up to half a million. The new law allows for the creation of additional polling stations in villages with as few as 200 inhabitants and provides that if no regular public transport is available buses to polling stations would have to be organised. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party is more popular in rural areas and smaller cities than in the big cities, so the opposition argued such a change in the election year is illegal and will benefit the ruling party.
RMF24.pl – The biggest private radio broadcaster carried a story on the wind-farm legislation. It’s supposed to allow the construction of turbines in closer vicinity to houses, and is one of the milestones set by the EC Poland needs to fulfill to get access the EU's post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience funds. In an amendment to the bill ruling Law and Justice (PiS) proposed that turbines can be constructed 500 meters from the nearest houses. But during the proceedings in the Sejm (lower house of parliament) that distance was increased to 700 meters. According to Poland’s Wind Farm Operators Forum, the changes mean wind farms will be able to generate 70 percent less energy and will postpone investments in the wind farms by 8 to 10 years.