(Bloomberg) -- Poland’s ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski backed efforts to secure European Union funding by his prime minister, who has come under fire from a coalition ally for seeking a compromise with Brussels.
The crucial support of Poland’s most powerful politician gives Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki leverage as he seeks a way to access €34.5 billion ($36.4 billion) in post-pandemic aid from the EU.
The premier has come under increasing attack by the justice minister and a small faction of hardline lawmakers, who accuse him of sacrificing Poland’s sovereignty in deal-making with the EU -- and last week raised the prospect of exiting the ruling coalition.
“There is no alternative to the line represented by the prime minister,” Kaczynski told Radio Wroclaw on Monday. Acknowledging “some tension” between Morawiecki and Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, the Law & Justice party leader said Ziobro “simply doesn’t understand the whole host of complications,” such as Poland’s borrowing costs on global markets.
The political row in Warsaw is complicating talks with Brussels over financing, which the EU is withholding over concerns about judicial independence and rule-of-law standards in the nation of 38 million. Access to funds also has political implications for Law & Justice, whose support is slipping ahead of next year’s election.
As Poland’s de facto leader, Kaczynski’s comments could pave the way for a rollback of some contested changes in the judiciary-- a key condition for releasing the EU’s aid.
--With assistance from Maciej Martewicz.
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