WARSAW, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Poland’s Eurosceptic Law and Justice party (PiS), which won a parliamentary election in October, announced its planned government line-up on Monday.
Following are brief profiles of key figures.
MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI, 47, ECONOMY MINISTER
Morawiecki is widely respected in financial circles for running a successful Polish branch of Spain’s Santander , the euro zone’s biggest bank. BZ WBK is Poland’s third lender by assets.
Morawiecki is known for his calm, professional demeanour, while his bank is viewed as one of the most aggressive in terms of its mergers policy. It took over smaller rival Kredyt Bank from Belgian KBC in 2012.
He served as a member of Poland’s Economic Council under former prime minister Donald Tusk from 2010. His father Kornel, a former anti-communist activist, is now a lawmaker with the anti-establishment Kukiz’15 grouping in parliament.
PAWEL SZALAMACHA, 46, FINANCE MINISTER
Szalamacha, a lawyer by training, was involved in advising on a number of privatisation transactions in 1994-2004 while working for law firm Clifford Chance.
He served as deputy treasury minister in the previous PiS governments which ruled between 2005 and 2007.
Szalamacha is well regarded by domestic financial markets.
WITOLD WASZCZYKOWSKI, 58, FOREIGN MINISTER
Waszczykowski, a historian by education, was Poland’s deputy foreign affairs minister in both Law and Justice (PiS) and Civic Platform’s (PO) cabinets in 2005-2008. He also served as an ambassador to Iran in 1999-2002 and as a representative to NATO.
He has said Poland does not see eye-to-eye on many issues with Germany, its biggest trade partner, but has urged pragmatic ties with Berlin based on a clear assessment of what is in Poland’s national interests.
Distrustful of Russia, Poland’s historic adversary, he wants NATO to station forces on Polish territory, even if only on a rotating basis, as part of “specific contingency planning”.
ANTONI MACIEREWICZ, 67, DEFENCE MINISTER
Macierewicz is one of the closest allies of PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski. A staunch anti-communist, he served time in prison before the fall of the communist regime in 1989.
During the previous PiS government, Macierewicz was responsible for dissolving the military intelligence agency WSI, which PiS considered to be harbouring members of the former communist military establishment and Russian spies.
Critics said the decision was ideologically driven and had put the lives of Polish soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere at risk.
Macierewicz believes an explosion caused the crash of a government plane in Russia in 2010 that killed President Lech Kaczynski – twin brother of PiS leader Jaroslaw – his wife and nearly 100 lawmakers and military personnel. A Polish government investigation blamed pilot error for the crash.
MARIUSZ KAMINSKI, 50, COORDINATOR OF SECRET SERVICES
Kaminski was convicted earlier this year and sentenced to three years in prison in a case involving secret service agents posing as businessmen to elicit bribes. The court found that Kaminski had exceeded his responsibilities. The politician has appealed against the ruling.
ZBIGNIEW ZIOBRO, 45, JUSTICE MINISTER
Ziobro served as justice minister in the previous PiS government.
Poland’s outgoing centrist government accused Ziobro of exceeding his mandate as justice minister in a case involving the suicide of a leftist lawmaker. Barbara Blida shot herself in her bathroom while secret service agents searched her home in an anti-corruption investigation.
Also during his previous ministerial tenure, Ziobro accused a doctor of taking bribes in return for organ transplants in a highly publicised case that led to a plunge in organ donations and transplants in Poland.
Ziobro will probably also assume the post of chief prosecutor along with that of justice minister under a proposed institutional reform by PiS. (Reporting by Marcin Goclowski, Wiktor Szary and Pawel Sobczak; editing by Justyna Pawlak and Gareth Jones)
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