Sunday, August 10, 2008

Government divided over nepotism

Deputy PM Waldemar Pawlak (pictured) and anticorruption minister Julia Pitera disagree over the significance of nepotism in Polish public life.

"One should be glad when children show similar interests to their parents and want to want to follow in their footsteps,” Waldemar Pawlak told Polish Radio this morning.

Pawlak said that nobody should be ostracised for being related to a political party member.

Deputy PM Waldemar Pawlak’s Peasants Party (PSL) was mentioned in the recently published report by minister in charge of fighting corruption, Julia Pitera’s report on the subject.

Julia Pitera,also on Polish Radio Three Monday morning, said that the practice among civil servants in Poland - favouring relatives or friends by giving them jobs over better qualified staff - was a complex problem, particularly at the local government level.

Minister Pitera assured Polish Radio listeners that the government was doing its best to curb nepotism and ensure that the Polish state administration is run in an honest and professional manner.

Julia Pitera said it was often very difficult to detect instances of Polish politicians awarding lucrative positions to their family members or friends, as there were hundreds of local-level institutions in Poland. Pitera acknowledged that those institutions were often submitted to tremendous pressure from influential individuals to employ those designated by them.

She added that she rejected the arguments voiced in the public debate on nepotism by Deputy Premier and Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak, who said that there was nothing wrong in giving employment to family members.