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UPDATE 1-Polish finance minister set to keep his job under new PM -sources
September 18, 2014 / 5:02 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Polish finance minister set to keep his job under new PM -sources

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By Pawel Sobczak

WARSAW, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Polish Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek will most likely keep his job in the new cabinet that will be unveiled on Friday by Prime Minister designate Ewa Kopacz, two sources close to the government said.

Polish media had reported that Szczurek, a former economist with ING bank who has been finance minister for nine months, would be fired as part of an effort to bring in new faces and fresh policies before a 2015 parliamentary election.

Asked about Szczurek’s job on Thursday, a senior source in the ruling Civic Platform party, who is close to Kopacz, told Reuters: “Financial markets can rest easy. There most probably will not be a change in that position.”

Many market players in Poland believe Szczurek is a relatively safe pair of hands, and were wary that bringing in someone new could cause needless disruption, especially with so little time left to the next vote.

A second source, who is close to the government, said: “Everything points to Szczurek staying in his post.”

Kopacz is taking over as prime minister from Donald Tusk, who is heading to Brussels to become the new chief of the European Council.

Kopacz said on Thursday that she had finalised the line-up of her government, and that there would be changes in some positions, without going into detail.

She is to present her new cabinet to President Bronislaw Komorowski on Thursday evening, and will announce the line-up at a press briefing at 10 a.m. (0800 GMT) on Friday.

Kopacz will be formally appointed as prime minister by the president on Sept. 22. Under the constitution, she then has two weeks to submit her government to a vote of confidence in parliament. The ruling coalition has a small but usually reliable parliamentary majority.

The finance ministry is likely to come under pressure to increase public spending as the 2015 parliamentary election draws nearer, especially if Civic Platform is trailing behind the conservative opposition.

In an interview with Reuters earlier this month, Szczurek said there were no plans for more increases in social spending.

Reporting by Pawel Sobczak; Writing by Christian Lowe and Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Pawel Florkiewicz and Andrew Heavens

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