Brussels shamed: ‘EU is marriage in crisis’ says Polish PM – bloc unity splinters

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Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has lashed out at the bloc as tensions grow following a serious disagreement. Relations between the bloc and Poland have plumbed new depths after Warsaw – alongside Hungary – vowed to maintain a united front and continue to veto the EU budget and the coronavirus relief fund.

But Mr Morawiecki has now lashed out at the EU, claiming countries like his are targeted when problems arise.

Mr Morawiecki said: “The EU looks like a marriage in crisis.”

“It has the financial crisis behind it, Brexit, and it is experiencing growing inequalities.

“And when problems arise, it takes its toll on Poland or Hungary.

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“It’s time for an examination of conscience.

“What went wrong? For example, hasn’t the euro led to deeper differences?

“What has it brought to Italy, a country that has been stagnating for more than twenty years?

“Our main concern is that the mechanism can be used arbitrarily and for political reasons.”

The EU announced €750 billion of the €1.8 trillion budget will be used as a Coronavirus Recovery Fund to help rebuild the bloc following the deadly pandemic, which has ravaged economies around the world.

However, the EU wants to link the behaviour of member states with access to EU funds by means of a “rule of law” mechanism.

This means any country which pursues policies which the EU feels do not uphold its core values will lose access to the vital funds.

Mr Morawiecki went on to attack the bloc, arguing other countries, like Italy, could be affected by the “mechanism” set up by the EU.

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The Polish premiere told Faz magazine: “Today it is Poland.

“Tomorrow it could be the Italian or Portuguese government and then their funding is taken off.

“It is a paradox, this mechanism circumvents the treaties.

“We are struggling to ensure that no country, today or tomorrow, is deprived of funds due to an arbitrary and non-transparent mechanism.

“This is a fundamental question of trust based on European law.

“We must not allow bad rules to pass along with the good recovery fund.”

The bloc is currently investigating Hungary and Poland for undermining the independence of their judiciaries and media.

The EU sought to attach conditions to the disbursement of money.

But last week, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban argued the EU cannot attach rule of law conditions to funds unless it changed its founding treaty.

Both countries blocked €1.8trn worth of funds, including hundreds of billions due to be disbursed to help the bloc recover out of a double-dip recession.

Mr Morawiecki added: “To get out of this unprecedented crisis, it would be appropriate to put aside the ideologically motivated attacks on the national sovereignty of some countries under the excuse of ‘conditionality’ of EU funds and move quickly to the reconstruction program.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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