Zbigniew Ziobro’s Game of Thrones

He has certainly made the headlines recently. In late March he gave an interview to the far-right weekly Sieci, in which he openly accused the prime minister, his nominal boss, of implementing policies more in tune with the opposition. Mateusz Morawiecki, he said, "is a skilled politician who knows how to convince the PiS leadership to run a policy contradictory to the 2014 agenda". The prime minister is "too cordial with the EU" and has agreed to the EU climate goals, he added. Ziobro, on the other hand presented himself as the guardian of PiS's original policies and vowed "not to lose the people's trust".

"People remember," he warned, "we have promised to defend the coal [industry]."

Ziobro enjoys strong support from the radical Catholic movement of Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, who runs the fundamentalist Radio Maryja. Rydzyk's finances remain murky, with the NGO Watchdog Poland currently suing the priest for failing to be transparent about the level of public financial support his business interests receive.

Ziobro's comments on the case exemplify his somewhat partisan views on the issue of transparency of institutions he supports and the independent institutions designed to monitor them: "I would like to express words of solidarity with Father Director and the whole family of Radio Maryja. We are all with you, because what is going on… is not about justice and the law, but harassment and surveillance. Those are the methods of [Belarusian dictator Alexandr] Lukashenko".

But his conservative zeal has driven him to the margins of the ruling coalition. On May 4, the Polish Sejm ratified the EU legislation that will enable the creation of the NextGenerationEU recovery package, which includes the 672.5 billion-euro Recovery and Resilience...

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