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Polish PM Announces Government Reshuffling, Says Change Needed

  • Associated Press

FILE - Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo arrives for an EU summit at Bratislava Castle in Bratislava, Slovakia, Sept. 16, 2016.

FILE - Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo arrives for an EU summit at Bratislava Castle in Bratislava, Slovakia, Sept. 16, 2016.

Poland's conservative prime minister said Friday she will make changes in her government next week because some ministers are “not coping” and things are not “fully working as they should.”

Prime Minister Beata Szydlo told Polish state Radio 1 the changes were needed because her ruling Law and Justice Party vowed to bring a new quality into politics and to protect the interests of ordinary people. The party won last year's election largely because it criticized the previous centrist government, saying it was focused on economic growth and on European Union values but their efforts were leaving poorer Poles behind.

Szydlo said some ministers have failed to bring vital changes to their sectors. She did not name them, but said she will announce personnel and structural changes next week, without naming the day. The Cabinet holds its weekly sessions on Tuesdays.

"We are not free from mistakes,” Szydlo said. “But we don't sweep them under the carpet, we draw conclusions and we continue with our work.”

She did praise Family and Labor Minister Elzbieta Rafalska and her own policy aide, Henryk Kowalczyk.

Last week, Szydlo fired Treasury Minister Dawid Jackiewicz, saying he fulfilled his role of phasing out the ministry that is to be closed this year. She is also under pressure from the opposition to fire Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, after it was revealed that his deputy and close aide, Bartlomiej Misiewicz, 25, was sitting on supervisory boards of two state-owned companies without proper qualifications. Misiewicz has since left the boards.

Szydlo said after 10 month in power, the time has run out for “building strategies, plans and programs, and for talking about them. Now we need action.”

Observers stress that party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski is its actual policy maker, pulling the strings, and suggest that Szydlo herself may one day be replaced.

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