Finance Minister Rostowski promoted to deputy PM in minor gov't reshuffle
February 21, 2013
Poland's Finance Minister and deputy PM Jacek Rostowski
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Wednesday that he will nominate Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski a deputy prime minister as part of a minor government reshuffle.
"The Finance Minister should have a stronger position in my government and I will motion to make him deputy PM," Tusk told a news conference.
The move results from the fact that pro-growth policies and keeping budget deficit at bay are government's priorities for 2013 and possibly 2014, Tusk added.
"The main cause is of course the scope of action that Minister Rostowski has taken in the large projects, for jobs and for investments and the significance of the condition of public finances in today's world," Tusk said.
Rostowski has said he is determined to reduce the country's deficit, now expected to drop to about 3.4% of GDP in 2012.
Political considerations also played a role, the PM said, suggesting a deputy PM representing the governing party PO offers balance to a deputy PM from the junior coalition partner PSL. Economy Minister Janusz Piechocinski from PSL had stood as the government's only deputy PM.
The promotion for Rostowski came as Tusk was forced to make personnel changes by the pending departure of his long-time aide Tomasz Arabski, who had served as cabinet minister and head of the PM Chancellery. Arabski departs to become Poland's ambassador to Spain, Tusk said.
In the event Tusk chose current Internal Affairs Minister Jacek Cichocki to take over as head of his Chancellery. Cichocki, in turn will be replaced as Interior Minister by a newcomer to government Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, who will also be entrusted with supervision of Poland's special services, Tusk said.
Sienkiewicz is a co-founder of Centre for Eastern Studies (OWS), an influential think tank, which focuses on mapping Poland’s foreign policy.
Furthermore, Tusk has announced “a larger reshuffle” of his team mid-year.
Much of the mid-year reshuffling will be designed only to bring fresh energy into the cabinet, Tusk said.
"It also results from my basic conviction that some ministers have worked with me for five years, almost six years, and sometimes changes are needed to create new synergies even if there is no major criticism of their work," he said.
Also on the political calendar: an early spring leadership soiree of the governing party PO will set a date for a party convention which will include Tusk declarations "concerning my future in PO," Tusk said.
Contrary to earlier media speculation Health Minister Bartosz Arłukowicz, Justice Minister Jarosław Gowin and Treasury Minister Mikołaj Budzanowski all kept their jobs.
Budzanowski's fate hinges on the restructuring of state airline LOT, although action is not urgent. "Don't expect a decision tomorrow or in a week," Tusk said.