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Polish election winner questions Airbus helicopter deal
November 3, 2015 / 8:12 AM / 2 years ago

Polish election winner questions Airbus helicopter deal

WARSAW, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Poland’s election-winning party’s foreign policy pointman on Tuesday questioned the country’s initial deal to buy French Airbus Group’s army helicopters, saying the contract would only leave “leftovers” for Polish producers.

Poland’s outgoing government signed a provisional deal with Airbus in April for 50 EC-725 Caracal multi-purpose machines, turning down offers from U.S. Sikorsky and AgustaWestland. The $3 billion contract has not yet been signed.

The eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party, which won outright majority in parliament last month, has repeatedly said it would rather see the contact awarded to those who manufacture locally. Both Sikorsky and AgustaWestland have facilities in Poland.

“They only offer leftovers,” Witold Waszczykowski, deputy foreign minister in the previous government led by PiS and seen as candidate for minister’s post in the new government, told daily Rzeczpospolita in an interview.

“Almost half of Caracals is to be assembled in France and the rest only in 10 percent is to be completed in Poland,” he added.

Waszczykowski added that Poland has to start to focus on its “national interests,” argueing that the country does not participate in taking key decisions by the European Union (EU), including those on migrants.

He said that the PiS government would fulfill Poland’s commitment to accept 7,000 refugees, adding that his party was surprised with Germany’s stance on the migration crisis.

“They are opening the door wide to their country, while we had to wait 7 years after Poland entered the EU before Poles were allowed to work across the Oder river. So let them not teach us solidarity.” (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Adrian Krajewski)

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