Polish PM sends tweet, seen as sign she might be replaced

WARSAW (AP) – Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo sent a tweet early yesterday that seems to read like a farewell, amid rumours in Warsaw that she might be replaced by Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Szydlo sent the tweet after midnight following talks in her conservative ruling Law and Justice party on reshuffling the government.

There have been rumours for weeks that party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski could become the next prime minister though recent Polish reports suggest the most likely new leader will be Morawiecki, a deputy prime minister who is also the minister for development and finance.

Kaczynski is widely seen as the real power behind the government, guiding its decisions from his party headquarters and from his seat in parliament where he serves as one of 460 members of the lower house, or Sejm.

This is not expected to change even if Szydlo is replaced.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo speaks during a press conference summarising two years of her government. – AP

The rumours that Szydlo is likely to be replaced have been reported for weeks in pro-government media outlets, as well as those critical of the government, including the Polish edition of Newsweek.

The daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported yesterday, citing unnamed sources, that Kaczynski has presented to party lawmakers his plan for Morawiecki to take the helm of the Cabinet next week.

Morawiecki has won praise for overseeing an economy that has boomed in the two years since the Law and Justice party took power and he is widely considered one of the government’s most skilled and competent members.

Critics, however, say the boom is largely thanks to the fiscal discipline of the previous centrist government and growth across Europe that is improving conditions in many places.

Under Morawiecki, Poland has taken steps to “re-Polonise” the banking industry, for example by retaking control of one of the country’s largest banks, Pekao SA, formerly controlled by Italy’s UniCredit.