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Gowin – conflict with PM is over economy, not social issues

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 30.04.2013 08:54
Following his sacking as justice minister, Jaroslaw Gowin says “differences in pace of economic reform” separate himself and PM Tusk, not ideological conflicts over IVF and civil partnerships.

Jaroslaw Gowin following his dismissal as justice minister, Monday: photo - PAP/Radek Pietruszka

“The media focus on differences of opinion regarding ideological issues such as on partnerships, bioethics" but "much more significant for example, are differences over economic affairs," Jaroslaw Gowin told TVP public television last night.

After weeks of tension within the ruling centre-right Civic Platform, Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced that he had dismissed Jaroslaw Gowin from the cabinet on Monday.

Tusk said it was not ideological differences with Gowin – a leading conservative in the party – that forced him to ask for the justice minister's resignation but the way he expressed his views on state funding for IVF treatment (which Gowin opposes) and his opposition to civil partnerships, which the now ex-minister regards as being contrary to Poland's Constitution.

"I have no time to comment every week on a minister’s behaviour only because he goes too far in politicizing the issues which are in the realm of his public activity," Tusk said.

Gowin has led several other conservative members of Civic Platform into voting against government policy on social issues.

But in interviews following his dismissal from the government, Gowin has emphasised differences between himself and PM Tusk on the pace of economic reform in Poland as being the source of tension.

“Poland today requires much deeper changes. I think in some cases those changes should go further and deeper,” Gowin said last night.

“Economic freedom is a fundamental value in terms of policy,” he said, urging “less state, less interference in the economy and the largest space for individuals, families […] and entrepreneurs."

He said it was “natural for a prime minister to surround himself with people with whom he trusts and with whom he shares views,” but Prime Minister Tusk regards a faster pace of economic reform in the post-communist Polish economy as “dangerous” to the popularity of Civic Platform, Gowin said.

Gowin said that he has no intention of leaving Civic Platform for another party such as the largest opposition group in parliament, the conservative Law and Justice (PiS), with which he shares many views on social issues, such as gay rights and IVF.

“I can assure you that my plans are connected with Civic Platform,” he said, and did not rule out running for leader of the party.

On Tuesday morning, Gowin remarked that he may run for the position of mayor in the southern city of Krakow, where his political base is. (pg)

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