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Polish cabinet reshuffle boosts control over state companies

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By Reuters
Polish cabinet reshuffle boosts control over state companies
FILE PHOTO: Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki arrives for the second day of the European Union leaders summit dominated by Brexit, in Brussels, Belgium October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw   -   Copyright  PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW(Reuters)

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party announced its governing cabinet lineup on Friday after winning a parliamentary election last month, setting out plans to consolidate control over state-owned utilities and financial companies.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, a former banker, kept his job, but PiS dissolved the energy ministry. Its responsibilities for energy and mining companies will be transferred to a new treasury ministry to oversee state assets.

“It is about making use of all reserves, including those which are part of the state treasury, which is in our vital interest,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters late on Friday.

PiS also created a new climate ministry headed by COP 24 president Michal Kurtyka, amid growing pressure for the EU to fight climate change.

PiS, a socially conservative grouping with a left-leaning economic agenda, had sought to increase the government’s control over the economy after winning the previous election in 2015.

It kept large state assets such as PZU <PZU.WA>, central Europe’s biggest insurer, and bank PKO BP <PKO.WA>, overseen by different ministries, controlled by competing factions within the ruling camp.

In the new cabinet, deputy prime minister Jacek Sasin will lead a treasury ministry which will manage state assets worth billions of euros.

The long-standing ally of Morawiecki – Jerzy Kwiecinski – will leave his post as finance minister and be replaced by Tadeusz Koscinski, a former deputy finance minister.

(Reporting by Marcin Goclowski, Agnieszka Barteczko, Alan Charlish, and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Chris Reese, Justyna Pawlak and Chizu Nomiyama)