Poland's PM slams previous gov't as harmful, wasteful

AP News
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Posted: May 11, 2016 7:45 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's conservative prime minister on Wednesday accused the previous government of "egoism, wastefulness and contempt" toward citizens and hinted those responsible could be prosecuted.

Beata Szydlo made the accusations in a parliament speech summing up the eight-year rule of the Civic Platform and Polish People's Party coalition that was ousted in elections last year and is now in opposition.

The two parties "did not rule, they only stayed in power and drew profits from it," Szydlo said.

Ewa Kopacz, prime minister in the previous government, said the accusations were lies, and figures used by Szydlo have no base. Kopacz and her party colleagues seemed shocked by the attack.

Szydlo's Law and Justice party won presidential and parliamentary elections on promises of better social policy and bonuses to poor families, more jobs from the development of Polish industry, and honesty of officials. The party argues the previous government failed in these and other areas.

"This is not political revenge, this is showing the truth to allow us to move on," she said.

Szydlo pointed to the 2010 plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski as an example of lack of responsibility. She said the 2012 Amber Gold financial pyramid scandal exposed the previous government as indifferent to the fate of the thousands of ordinary people who lost money in it. Under the previous government, from 2007-2015, the nation lost some 340 billion zlotys (77 billion euros), she estimated.

She called for lawmakers to form a special commission to investigate the Amber Gold scheme, and warned of prosecution. The case is currently in court, but the defendants say they have no property to compensate the victims.

Szydlo's ruling, right-wing Law and Justice party aims to discredit its political opponents while making sweeping changes to state offices and to social policy, often through purges and accusations.

The accusations come just two days before the Moody's rating agency is to announce its rating for Poland.