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Morawiecki sworn in as Poland's new PM

Janek Skarzynski, AFP | Mateusz Morawiecki (L), newly designated as Polish Prime Minister shakes hands with unidentified ministers in the presidential palace in Warsaw on December 8, 2017. Next to him stands Culture Minister Piotr Glinski (C).

Mateusz Morawiecki was sworn in as Poland’s new prime minister on Monday, replacing Beata Szydlo, who became a deputy prime minister.

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The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party sacked the popular Szydlo last week in a bid to improve Poland’s image abroad and prepare the conservatives for a series of elections.

Morawiecki, 49, will have to defend Poland before the European Union, which has been in conflict in Warsaw over sweeping changes to state institutions that critics say have subverted democracy and the rule of law.

Morawiecki will remain finance minister and economy minister in the government on top of his new role. All other ministers kept their jobs despite speculation that some of them might have been replaced.

Despite the criticism from abroad, Szydlo’s eurosceptic government, in power for two years, was one of the most popular in Poland since the 1989 collapse of communism.

PiS managed to keep high support at around 40 percent in opinion polls largely due to low unemployment, increases in public spending and a focus on traditional Catholic values in public life.

(REUTERS)

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