Polish PM accuses EU of ‘blackmail’ as row with Brussels intensifies

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The Polish prime minister has accused the EU of “blackmailing” it amid an ongoing legal dispute that has fueled tensions between Poland and the rest of the bloc.

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Speaking in the EU Assembly on Tuesday, Mateusz Morawiecki of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) claimed his country was being “attacked” by other member states.

His remarks came after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc would consider taking action against Poland, after a court ruled that its own constitution trampled parts of EU law.

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The decision, made by PiS loyalists in response to a case brought by Mr. Morawiecki, could be used to justify Warsaw’s ignoring the directives of the European Court of Justice, which sought to protect the independence of the Polish judiciary against government interference. has demanded.

“This decision calls into question the very foundation of the European Union. It is a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal system,” said Ms. von der Leyen.

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“We can’t and we won’t let our common values ​​jeopardize. The commission will take action,” she said.

In response to the decision of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, the EU may launch a legal challenge against Poland or withhold funding, including a grant of 23.9 billion euros to be received under the bloc’s Covid-19 recovery fund. reason.

An even more drastic move would be for the Commission to trigger Article 7 of the EU treaties, which could suspend Poland’s rights as a member of the bloc.

In response to these suggestions, the Polish prime minister called it “unacceptable to talk about financial penalties”.

“Blackmail should not be a method of policy,” Mr. Morawiecki said.

The nationalist Polish government has increasingly used anti-EU rhetoric in recent months, with a prominent PiS member Marek Suski saying Poland will “fight the occupied Brussels”.

This has given rise to growing speculation about a “Polexit”, the possibility that Poland could become the second country to leave the European Union.

However, this is unlikely to happen, given that support for the EU is particularly high among Polish voters.

Amid Poland’s war of words against Brussels this month, thousands of Polish people have taken to the streets to voice their support for their country’s membership of the European Union.

Additional reporting by agencies

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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