Poland wants to heat up economy, not cool things down - PM

The opposition has appealed to Brussels to freeze EU funds for Poland; we don't want to freeze anything, what we want to do is heat up the Polish economy, PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday at a meeting with voters in Opole (southwestern Poland).

Morawiecki observed that by appealing to freeze EU funds for Poland, the opposition was hoping to increase its chances of returning to power, but was in fact acting against its own interests and "cutting off its nose to spite its face". However, he assured, the Polish government "did not wish to freeze anything", but rather planned "to heat up the national economy."

"Recently a certain element has appeared in the public sphere which I must comment on quite boldly, by taking the bull by the horns (...), because our opposition (...), has proposed not more nor less, but the freezing of all our EU funds, just to raise their chances of regaining power - at least that's what they think - but they're cutting off their ears to spite their faces," Morawiecki said.

As to how Poland should be, the prime minister said "we are changing it for everyone by broadly making it more democratic and hitting particular special-interest groups." He added that contrary to the former ruling elite's middle-of-the-road policy which complied with the "image of Poland in Brussels", his government wanted to fulfil the true ambitions and aspirations of Poles by building "a Poland of our dreams, not our neighbours' dreams."

Morawiecki said his government was building "areas of growth" countrywide with funds it had secured thanks to stricter tax evasion laws, and named the Opole province as an example of such growth. He also announced several government programmes aimed at boosting the economies of medium-sized cities.

He also mentioned plans to reform Poland's agriculture, among other areas, by introducing new agricultural retail-trade regulations, and noted that several other changes in the agricultural sector will be announced in the coming weeks.

Morawiecki said his plan was to make Poland a high-tech country by 2028, and stressed that his government needed the trust of Poles to reach this goal.

Commenting on the new EU budget, under which Poland is to receive lower payment from the EU Cohesion Fund, Morawiecki observed that the EC had proposed even deeper funding cuts for countries like the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia and Lithuania.