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Poland's prime minister fires Finance Minister

Published:Wednesday | November 20, 2013 | 9:21 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP):

In a major government reshuffle aimed at breathing new energy into Poland's longest-serving team under democracy, the prime minister today fired Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski.

The pro-market government of Donald Tusk has guaranteed stability in Poland's politics in recent years and has boasted of preserving economic growth at a time when European Union nations plunged into recession.

However, it has been recently losing support due to domestic policy decisions, budget cuts and allegations of corruption among members of Tusk's Civic Platform party.

Tusk said today that the "need for new energy" was the key to the changes, which he had been planning for months.

Tusk also fired Environment Minister Marcin Korolec, who is currently presiding over UN talks on preventing global warming that are entering their decisive stage in Warsaw.

Korolec is keeping his role at the UN meeting and as Poland's official for global climate talks, Tusk said.

The ministry's foot-dragging on much-awaited regulations concerning exploration for shale gas and other fossil fuels seems to be behind Korolec's dismissal.

The government is placing great hopes on Poland's shale gas deposits for energy security, but it still needs to approve legislation favorable for the industry.

Maciej Grabowski, formerly at the Finance Ministry, is the new head of the environment.

Other ministries with new leaders are sports, education, science and administration.

The transport and regional development sectors were merged into one ministry, led by Elzbieta Bienkowska, who until now was regional development minister.

Bienkowska was also raised to the rank of deputy prime minister.


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