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Polish PM demands confidence vote in himself

GRANDSTANDING Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki demanded a confidence vote in himself today.

Mr Morawiecki’s Law and Justice party has a parliamentary majority and his losing such a vote, which none of his MPs has demanded, appears impossible.

However, he said holding one would demonstrate that he “has a mandate” before tomorrow’s European Union summit. The Polish government is at loggerheads with the EU over a range of issues, from judicial reforms opponents say give the executive political control of judges, to immigration, where Poland, with the Czech Republic and Hungary, is determined to prevent any “refugee-sharing” deal as demanded by Greece and Italy, which are often the landing points of asylum-seekers from outside Europe.

The Polish PM faces domestic pressure to regulate trade, with farmers donning yellow jackets like the French “gilets jaunes” protesters to block a motorway into Warsaw today, saying they would not be moved until their concerns were listened to.

They demanded a clampdown on food imports from neighbouring Ukraine, which they say are driving down prices unsustainably.

Ukraine is not a member of the EU, but tariff-free trade in farm produce was part of the association agreement it signed with Brussels following the fascist-led Maidan coup in Kiev four years ago. The agreement has seen exports to the EU increase, though not by enough to replace its previous exports to Russia.

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