Polish Central Bank Governor Adam Glapiński will be protected by EU law from unlawful prosecution by the future government, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday.
The three-bloc coalition led by Donald Tusk, likely to get in power in the following days after its majority win in the October elections, has already set its eyes on Glapiński.
Claiming that he tailored the bank’s policies to assist the outgoing Law and Justice (PiS) administration, hampering the fight against inflation and going against the constitution, Glapiński – fearing that the coalition would have enough MPs to bring him before the state tribunal if they so pleased – sent a letter in mid-November, detailing the accusations against him to the European Central Bank.
“The Statute of the ESCB and the ECB, to guarantee the independence of the governors of the national central banks, offers protection in case the Sejm was to subsequently adopt a resolution to prosecute you,” Lagarde told Glapiński in a letter dated 1 December but published for the broader public on Monday.
She added that a possible prosecution would be illegal as it could entail an automatic suspension of Glapiński as head of the central bank and ECB’s General Council member.
She also confirmed that Glapiński could refer a decision to prosecute him, if it were to be taken, to the EU Court of Justice “and ask for the assessment of its lawfulness”.
A motion to bring a politician before the Polish State Tribunal can be submitted to parliament by the president or at least 115 of the 460 MPs. Parliament passes a resolution by an absolute majority of votes in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of MPs.
If the resolution is adopted and the case is referred to the tribunal, Glapiński would be suspended from his duties, which the central bank’s deputy governor would take over.
Commenting on the possible prosecution of Glapiński, Tusk, the likely future prime minister, said that his group would not do anything to undermine Poland’s stability or its reputation abroad.
However, he admitted earlier that his camp was considering acting against the NBP governor. “We are looking into the case because we want to use this solemn instrument responsibly,” he said.
However, Ryszard Petru, an MP from the Poland 2050 party, which is part of Tusk’s coalition, told private radio station TOK FM on Monday that a motion against Glapiński was ready but that there had been no political decision on the matter.
Szymon Hołownia, the parliament’s speaker and leader of Poland 2050, stressed that a reflection is needed or whether to proceed with the motion, as quoted by TVN24 TV station.
Meanwhile, most Poles would like to see Glapiński prosecuted, according to the latest poll by United Survey for the private radio station RMF FM and the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily.
According to the poll, 54% of respondents said they favoured taking the central bank’s governor to court, 31% opposed the idea, and 16% did not have a clear opinion.
The central bank defends its policies, including by the banners hanging on the bank’s seat.
“All NBP’s activities are lawful,” the latest one proclaims.
(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | Euractiv.pl)
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