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    Poland’s Ruling Party Unveils Referendum Plans: State-Owned Enterprises Sale at Center Stage

    In a significant move, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has unveiled plans for an upcoming referendum, with the first question poised to address a crucial issue – the sale of state-owned enterprises. The announcement was made by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the party’s leader, and deputy prime minister, who emphasized that the decision rested on the shoulders of the Polish public. Kaczynski declared that the referendum would determine whether the country’s wealth, amassed over generations, would remain under Polish control.

    The PiS party took to social media on Friday to release a video featuring Kaczynski outlining their approach. “For us, the voice of normal Poles is decisive. The voice of foreign politicians, including Germans, is of no importance,” Kaczynski asserted, emphasizing the party’s commitment to direct engagement with the citizens through referendums, particularly on key matters. He cited the influence of foreign interests and alluded to opposition leader Donald Tusk’s alleged alignment with such forces, stating, “The Germans want to install Tusk in Poland, to sell off the commonwealth. His background says it clearly.”

    Kaczynski went on to elucidate the referendum’s first question, stating, “The first question will be: Do you support the sell-off of state-owned enterprises?” He underlined the significance of this issue by presenting archival footage of economist Boguslaw Grabowski from January 2023. The clip featured Grabowski discussing the potential reversal of expansion and merger processes within the fuels firm Orlen, to which he unambiguously responded, “Absolutely yes.” Grabowski advocated for the privatization of fuels and energy companies, ports, and airports – a position at odds with the PiS party’s stance.

    The video message underscored Kaczynski’s determination: “We cannot agree to this. You decide whether the wealth of generations will remain in Polish hands.” The party’s engagement with the public is set to intensify in the days ahead, as the Polish public eagerly anticipates additional videos containing further referendum questions.

    This move comes on the heels of an earlier decision by Kaczynski in June to subject the issue of a proposed EU migrant relocation scheme to a national referendum. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki subsequently confirmed that the referendum would coincide with the scheduled parliamentary election on October 15. The specific regulations governing the referendum’s conduct will be a focal point of discussion in the Sejm, Poland’s lower house of parliament, during its upcoming sessions on August 16-17. The PiS party’s commitment to direct democracy signals a significant shift in Poland’s political landscape, with the public poised to play a central role in determining the future of key policy matters.


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