Destinations Magazine

Poland’s Government: After Tusk

By Stizzard

THE choice of Donald Tusk, Poland’s long-serving prime minister, as the next president of the European Council is rearranging Polish politics. He will be replaced by Ewa Kopacz, Speaker of the parliament. Ms Kopacz has two weeks to assemble a new cabinet and gain the approval of parliament, which should be easy. She has the opportunity for a “velvet cabinet reshuffle”, says Wojciech Szacki of Polityka Insight, a political-analysis firm. That gives her the chance to reverse the misfortunes of Civic Platform that have left the party lagging behind the right-wing Law and Justice party, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski.Civic Platform has appeared listless for months. It was rocked by the recent “waitergate” scandal, in which several senior ministers were illegally recorded in Warsaw restaurants and their indiscretions splashed in the newspapers. The halo of Mr Tusk’s new job has already given Civic Platform a boost: one poll found it leaping by ten points to overtake Law and Justice, for the first time in a while.The government has big gaps to fill. Mr Tusk will be joined in Brussels by his capable deputy, Elzbieta Bienkowska. After doing an excellent job of disbursing the billions of euros Poland gets from the European Union, she is to become European commissioner for the internal market. There is no obvious candidate to take over from her. There could be change at the foreign…

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