Saturday, May 24, 2008

Opposition accuses government of ‘sloth’

Members of the largest opposition party, Law and Justice (PiS), have negatively summed up the performance of PM Donald Tusk's government after its first six months in office.

Opposition politicians accuse the present cabinet of ‘sloth’ and being ‘plagued’ by the following ten negative phenomena: rising prices, privatisation of hospitals, stalling road construction, lack of public finance reform, destruction of the public media, lenient approach to criminals, as well as mismanagement of EU funds.

However, according to PiS politicians the cabinet is primarily plagued by the action – or lack of action - by Prime Minister Tusk himself, who instead of presenting concrete projects and policies, delivers ‘barbecue-style addresses’, said MP Beata Kempa (PiS), referring to the address Tusk delivered 1 May, Poland's national holiday, which was widely criticized by the opposition as being bland and lacking in detail.

The opposition has been critical recently of government plans to reform the health care system in Poland, claiming that this is merely privatization by stealth. The government retors that it only wishes to make hospitals self contained financial units which would remain under the control of local governments.

But Kempa said that the case of former PO-member Beata Sawicka, caught ‘red-handed’ while taking a bribe during a 'sting' operation prepared by the Anti-Corruption Bureau on 1 October, was instructive. Kempa said that Sawicka commented to bureau officers that she wanted to obtain benefits from the future ‘privatisation of Polish hospitals’.

Kempa said the proposed health care reforms were a ‘huge mess, greatly alarming doctors, nurses and society at large’.

The government is to present its own evaluation of its first six months in power after Prime Minister Tusk returns from a trip to South America, whose length and light duties critics have dubbed ‘the PM’s Latin American holiday’.