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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » June 25, 2014
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Poland's governing coalition to join forces in settling wire-tapping scandal
June 25, 2014   
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PO caucus head Rafal Grupinski
Ruling Civic Platform (PO) and junior coalition partner Polish People's Party (PSL) want to cooperate in settling the matters related to the country's ongoing tape scandal involving prominent PO politicians and in stabilizing the situation in Polish politics, PO caucus head Rafal Grupinski said following the meeting of the politicians of the governing coalition.

The coalition gave itself time until the end of summer vacation to investigate the scandal, head of PSL parliamentary caucus Jan Bury added.

President Bronislaw Komorowski has said he will check the ability of the current coalition government to hold out and suggested that the government or Parliament would have to take steps towards a new dealing of the cards should the government's viability prove low.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said he will take no action against recorded politicians, to avoid the impression that it is acting under the dictates of whoever arranged the illegal recordings.

Comments come as media uproar continues over the wire-tapping scandal, which included a recorded conversation between National Bank of Poland governor Marek Belka and Internal Affairs Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz in which Belka speaks to possibilities for the central bank to buy government debt after Sienkiewicz confronts him with the prospect of tight public finances and losing voter support figures for the governing party ahead of elections.

Belka lists conditions, including the dismissal of the then-Finance Minister Rostowski and also notes that an amendment to the NBP law would help him "get around" the Monetary Policy Council, to describe which he uses an expletive. Belka also makes vulgar jokes about MPC member Jerzy Hausner. Following release of taped conversations of him Belka said he would not resign.

MPs from Polish opposition parties are likely to vote on motions for the dismissal of Sienkiewicz prepared by main opposition Law and Justice (PiS), a motion of leftist-liberal party Your Movement on terminating this Parliament's term and a motion of leftist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) for information of the PM on the scandal. Additionally PiS has announced a motion for a constructive vote of no-confidence. However, the government's dismissal and earlier elections are unlikely as the opposition is too divided, the daily Gazeta Wyborcza wrote.

The government will likely conclude the investigation into the scandal by the end of summer Justice Minister Marek Biernacki told reporters on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, according to various media reported a noted businessman, Marek F. (surname withheld under Polish law)had been taken into custody in relation to the wire-tapping scandal.

The online version of daily Gazeta Wyborcza, gazeta.pl, wrote that Marek F. is lead shareholder in a coal firm Sklady Wegla which has been "paralized" by a separate investigation which the daily suggests could have built a grudge against the government. Poland's investigation office CBS arrested five managers of the firm suspected of VAT fraud and laundering PLN 85 million.

The Polish edition of the weekly Newsweek, in turn, links Marek F. to Lukasz N., a manager at the restaurant where Polish VIPs had been recorded. Lukasz N. apparently worked for in the past at a healthcare sector financing firm.

Another company in which Marek F's has shares, Hawe, is set to be beneficiary of some heavy state financing: in late 2013 Poland's investment support vehicle PIR signed a latter of intent with Hawe for some PLN 120 million in PIR financing for Hawe's PLN 560 million investment in the construction of a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

Marek F. has the 67th place on the list of richest Poles published annually by Wprost.

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