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POLAND: New Agricultural Support

During a Law and Justice convention this weekend, PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński announced plans for a new agricultural support programme as an answer to ongoing farmers’ protests. Media outlets and PiS figures reported that Kaczyński promised PLN 500 for each cow, and PLN 100 for each pig – something that would reflect the 500+ family support programme. In fact, what Kaczyński meant is that PiS would secure funds in the next EU budget, as part of the Common Agricultural Policy, which would be equivalent for such sums for each cow and pig. The context, however, was lost in media reports and PiS received a lot of criticism for proposing direct pay-outs to farmers in the midst of large-scale teachers’ protests. Furthermore, the opposition, including leader of the agrarian PSL party Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, have criticized Kaczyński for offering funding from the EU that PiS has not yet secured. Commentators agree that Kaczyński’s announcement was not well-timed and details of the proposal were not communicated clearly. Both the opposition and protesting teachers have started to capitalize on that in the ongoing discussions about the state of public finances in Poland.