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POLAND: Government Reshuffle Speculations

Media reports are increasing that the ruling party is considering a quicker government reshuffle. This is mostly connected with the upcoming European Parliament election, as well as the intensifying teachers’ protests. According to experts and journalists there are two possible scenarios. The first anticipates that all government ministers who are running in the European election will be replaced before the election – potentially in the first half of April. This would allow the government to achieve three things: avoid speculations that Education Minister Anna Zalewska was dismissed due to the ongoing protest; provide a possibility to dismiss Finance Minister Teresa Czerwińska (see the 22.03 CEC Daily); and provide some new momentum for PiS. A second scenario foresees that ministers would be dismissed gradually, beginning with Education Minister Zalewska.

Yesterday, the party’s spokesperson Beata Mazurek denied these rumours and assured that the positions of both Minister Czerwińska and Minister Zalewska are unabated. Still, the ruling party is known to be tight-lipped, especially in regard to its strategic plans. A decision on whether the reshuffle will happen before the EU race will be made by party leader Jarosław Kaczyński at the beginning of April. The results of the ongoing negotiations with teachers and the public perception regarding the financial aspects of implementing PiS’ new policy proposals will factor into this decision.