Poland dismisses treasury minister for stuffing state companies with friends

By bne IntelliNews September 15, 2016

Poland’s Treasury Minister Dawid Jackiewicz has been dismissed from his post, the prime minister announced on September 15.

The dismissal is the first major change in the government of Law and Justice (PiS) since it took office in November. Polish newspapers have been reporting that Jackiewicz was in hot water with the party leadership - chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski in particular - for going overboard in handing lucrative posts in state-controlled companies to trusted people from his circle.

Kaczynski and the PiS leadership were also reportedly angry that Jackiewicz’s people were not keen to carry out changes in the companies. Instead the party views them as having treated their new positions as simple reward for years of loyalty to PiS when the party was in opposition, press suggests. 

Prime Minister Beata Szydlo did not confirm such reports when she announced the dismissal. “The minister fulfilled the task he was given,” she told a news conference curtly. When taking over the ministry in late 2015, Jackiewicz was tasked with organising the process of liquidation of the ministry. That is expected to be complete by the end of the year. The government has pledged to get rid of the ministry and move important state-controlled companies under other ministries or a new entity. 

The reform is also connected with the statist PiS’ promise to end privatization. The party charges that predecessors used the treasury to sell-off strategic companies in deals that were disadvantageous to the state. PiS has said it would like to increase the state’s role in important companies, especially in the energy, natural resource, and banking sectors, budgetary means permitting.

Changes of government in Poland have often been followed by juggling of management at state companies through the years, however, PiS oversaw a bloodbath in the months after it took power. Just one of 14 CEO’s at major state-controlled firms – Zbigniew Jagiello at lender PKO – survived the onslaught.

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