Ex-banker Mateusz Morawiecki proposed as Poland's new PM

Poland - Factors to Watch Dec 7

Senior politicians from the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party will meet in the afternoon in Warsaw to discuss a reshuffle of the government.

The announcement was made late Thursday by Beata Mazurek, the Law and Justice party spokeswoman, following meetings at the party's headquarters in Warsaw.

Morawiecki, who has also been a deputy prime minister, will replace the largely popular Beata Szydlo, marking the midpoint of the parliamentary term and in what is the beginning of an expected broader government reshuffle.

Earlier Thursday, Szydlo survived a no-confidence motion in parliament tabled by the liberal opposition, only for her party to later announce her resignation.

Germany's Lufthansa plans to open in Poland in co-operation with MTU Aero Engines an engine servicing plant worth 150 million euros that is to start functioning in 2020 and employ 800 people, Puls Biznesu reported.

Government critics saw the leadership change as mostly a smoke screen to divert attention from a Friday vote on laws that would give the ruling party significant power over Poland's judicial system.

A Polish government official says the country's lawmakers will hold a confirmation vote next week to appoint Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki as the new prime minister.

"It is obvious that Jaroslaw Kaczynski is the leader of this camp and he is the one who distributes the cards regardless of who is the prime minister", Henryk Domanski, from the Polish Academy of Sciences, said.

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Deputy Culture Minister Jaroslaw Sellin told reporters that the Morawiecki government is expected to be set up next Tuesday, and that there may be some changes in the judiciary in January.

The conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party swept to power in October 2015 in a landslide election victory, ending eight years of a government led by its archrival, the Civic Platform, now Poland's largest opposition grouping.

Hefty public spending has stimulated domestic consumption, and the economy is expected to grow 4.0% this year.

But although Poland's debt-to-GDP ratio stood at a relatively low 54% past year, critics say it is bound to balloon.

Szydło added that she was keeping her fingers crossed for Morawiecki and for "other ministers responsible for the economy, for the entire government".

PiS praised in a statement the "many successes were achieved in key areas of Polish life" during Szydlo's two-year premiership.

She noted that Szydlo will be offered an important position in the new government, without giving further details. The bills have been criticized by the European Union and others as an anti-democratic threat to Poland's rule of law.

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