Polish Party Vows to Reject EU Rescue Fund in Coalition Rift

A Polish junior ruling party said it won’t ratify the European Union’s Covid-relief fund, which may force Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to rely on opposition support to pass the 750 billion euro ($891 billion) package.

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro’s United Poland party won’t back the fund because it allows the EU to issue its own debt, and it’s not in Poland’s interest to co-sign liabilities for countries with weaker economies, European lawmaker Patryk Jaki said on Tuesday. The party also opposes linking rule-of-law requirements with access to the aid, an issue that nearly derailed talks over the fund last year.

The row highlights the continued fragility of the coalition, which has spent much of the past year battling for influence over government agencies and state-controlled companies.

“We will not back this -- it’s a bad deal for Poland,” Jaki told broadcaster TVN24. Asked about whether the rift could break apart the governing coalition, he said “more keeps us together than splits us apart” and that the current government was the “best” political option available.

Unless Ziobro’s group can be convinced by the end-April deadline for ratification, the government will need some opposition lawmakers to back the plan, which earmarks 58 billion euros in aid and loans for Poland.

Opposition parties, including the pro-EU Civic Platform, said they won’t automatically support the fund unless local administrations have more say in how the rescue aid is distributed.

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