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Radical cabinet reshuffle in Poland

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Radical cabinet reshuffle in Poland

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Several senior government ministers have gone from Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party in an apparent move to improve relations with the European Union strained over accusations that Warsaw is subverting rule of law standards.

The country is facing unprecedented EU legal action over the alleged politicisation of Poland's judiciary.

The reshuffle comes with the EU also about to embark on negotiations on a new seven-year budget that will decide which member states get what out of the bloc's coffers - with Poland currently the biggest net recipient.

President Andrzej Duda, acting on recommendations of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, dismissed Environment Minister Jan Szyszko, who has spearheaded far-reaching logging in an ancient forest in Poland that prompted action by the European Court of Justice.

Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz, a former anti-communist crusader who is facing criticism over delays in army modernisation and conflicts with top generals, and Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski also lost their jobs.

The changes followed the appointment of former banker and finance minister Morawiecki as prime minister, replacing Beata Szydlo, last month at the midpoint of the parliamentary term.

Judicial reforms at the heart of the dispute with Brussels are seen by PiS as a fundamental element of its efforts to overhaul Poland's democratic institutions.