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Warsaw: Poland's president signs disputed 2017 state budget

Poland's president signed into law the country's disputed 2017 budget, which was at the centre of an unprecedented parliamentary sit-in staged by opposition MPs who allege it was adopted illegally on Saturday.


By   |  Updated On : January 14, 2017 10:30 AM
Warsaw: Poland's president signs disputed 2017 state budget

Warsaw: Poland's president signs disputed 2017 state budget

Warsaw :  

Poland's president on Saturday signed into law the country's disputed 2017 budget, which was at the centre of an unprecedented parliamentary sit-in staged by opposition MPs who allege it was adopted illegally.

In mid-December, lawmakers from the governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party passed the budget in a room outside the main parliamentary chamber.

The move came after liberal Civic Platform (PO) opposition MPs staged an unprecedented occupation of the lower house of parliament over government plans to restrict media access to debates.

Opposition lawmakers then demanded a re-run of the budget vote, insisting it's adoption breached parliamentary regulations and was therefore "illegal".

But the governing party dismissed the allegation and the PiS-controlled Senate passed the disputed 2017 budget on Wednesday.

PO leader Grzegorz Schetyna on Friday appealed to PiS-allied President Andrzej Duda not to endorse the budget, arguing that its validity could be questioned by Poland's partners, including the European Union.

PO lawmakers however ended their occupation of parliament earlier the same day after the PiS government withdrew plans to restrict media access to parliament.

The contested budget forecasts that Poland's economy will expand by 3.6 per cent this year while spending will comprise 2.9 per cent of GDP, just shy of the 3.0 per cent of GDP limit required by the EU.

But critics warn that the deficit could balloon as the PiS government delivers on its generous social welfare promises, including a new child benefit programme.

Poland has been mired in political crisis for months.

In December, the EU gave the PiS government another two months to reverse changes it made to Poland's constitutional court or face sanctions, warning they posed a "substantial" challenge to the rule of law.

This and the crisis in parliament come just over one year after the PiS swept to power and began pushing through legislation that critics allege undermines democracy.

Although the moves have sparked mass anti-government street protests, the PiS remains widely supported and has kept well ahead in recent opinion polls due in large part to its generous social spending schemes. 

Warsaw

 

Poland’s president today signed into

law the country’s disputed 2017 budget, which was at the

centre of an unprecedented parliamentary sit-in staged by

opposition MPs who allege it was adopted illegally.

In mid-December, lawmakers from the governing right-wing

Law and Justice (PiS) party passed the budget in a room

outside the main parliamentary chamber.

The move came after liberal Civic Platform (PO)

opposition MPs staged an unprecedented occupation of the lower

house of parliament over government plans to restrict media

access to debates there.

Opposition lawmakers then demanded a re-run of the budget

vote, insisting it’s adoption breached parliamentary

regulations and was therefore “illegal”.

But the governing party dismissed the allegation and the

PiS-controlled Senate passed the disputed 2017 budget on

Wednesday.

PO leader Grzegorz Schetyna yesterday appealed to

PiS-allied President Andrzej Duda not to endorse the budget,

arguing that its validity could be questioned by Poland’s

partners, including the European Union.

PO lawmakers however ended their occupation of parliament

earlier the same day after the PiS government withdrew plans

to restrict media access to parliament.

The contested budget forecasts that Poland’s economy will

expand by 3.6 per cent this year while spending will comprise

2.9 per cent of GDP, just shy of the 3.0 per cent of GDP limit

required by the EU.

But critics warn that the deficit could balloon as the

PiS government delivers on its generous social welfare

promises, including a new child benefit programme.

Poland has been mired in political crisis for months.

In December, the EU gave the PiS government another two

months to reverse changes it made to Poland’s constitutional

court or face sanctions, warning they posed a “substantial”

challenge to the rule of law.

This and the crisis in parliament come just over one year

after the PiS swept to power and began pushing through

legislation that critics allege undermines democracy.

Although the moves have sparked mass anti-government

street protests, the PiS remains widely supported and has kept

well ahead in recent opinion polls due in large part to its

generous social spending schemes.

 

First Published: Saturday, January 14, 2017 10:17 AM


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