Beata Szydło: The situation of the Polish countryside is the best in years

Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel is a very good minister in my Government, one of the best – said Prime Minister Beata Szydło during the debate on the motion of no confidence against the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Sejm did not agree to dismiss the Minister of Agriculture.

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Photo: P. Tracz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

The motion of no confidence is the more surprising, that it is submitted to the Sejm at a time when the situation of the Polish countryside is the best in years – said the Head of the Government. She stressed that the current situation in the countryside was the merit of the Polish farmers, who, in her opinion, are a mainstay of patriotism, Polishness, tradition and economy.

Prime Minister Szydło stated that over the past two years her Government had cancelled the disadvantageous decisions made by the former ruling coalition in relation to the Polish countryside.

End of sale of land to speculators

I remember when we met with the farmers, especially in Western Poland and in the North, the people there showed us the scale of the problems. The then Polish Government showed no response and even allowed for uncontrolled sale of land to foreigners and national land speculators – famous sale to so-called straw men. This method was used to sell land from the State Treasury resources and it went to foreign entities – said the Head of the Government. According to Prime Minister Beata Szydło, this procedure, even though it had not been much publicised, was as harmful as trade in the town houses in Warsaw.

In the opinion of the Prime Minister, the sale of land to the straw men had ended thanks to the activity of Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel. She added that after one year of the functioning of the Act on the protection of Polish land there are some conclusions and changes will be made.

New outlet markets for Polish agriculture

The Prime Minister stressed that Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel had negotiated new outlet markets for Polish agricultural products. Now, we export them to more than 30 countries, including, inter alia, Japan, Indonesia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Ukraine, Morocco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Macedonia, China, Turkey, Montenegro, India, Kazakhstan, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Brazil, Cuba, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Moldova or Chile – enumerated Beata Szydło. She declared that the Government would continue to try to open more outlet markets.

Strategic position of agriculture

The Head of the Government reminded the words of the late President Lech Kaczyński, who had said that our state cannot give up its own, national policy towards the countryside and agriculture. She stressed that the Law and Justice Government pursued such a policy. Agriculture, processing industry and rural development occupy a strategic position in the Government’s Responsible Development Plan – she informed.

According to the Prime Minister, the previous Government treated the issues of the Polish countryside and agriculture as a margin of the economic and social policy. During the negotiations for the current financial perspective of the European Union, it was the farmers who had been sacrificed by the then Government – she stated. Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel, wishing to improve the situation of the farmers prepared and the Council of Ministers adopted the document entitled Common agricultural policy post-2020 – Polish priorities whose important element is the postulate to align direct payments.

Referring to the issue of losses suffered by the Polish farmers and growers due to the Russian embargo on apples, the Prime Minister announced that the Polish Government would not agree to lifting the sanctions against Russia, as long as this country did not comply with the Minsk commitments.

Support for rural families and sustainable development

More than 60% of the funds from the Rodzina 500+ programme go to the rural families – stressed the Head of the Government. She stated that the people living there said that at last they were able to live decently and did not have to worry that their children had a worse situation than children in cities. Also, the Head of the Government criticised the activities of her predecessors, whose policy had struck the Polish poviats. She reminded the liquidation of schools, police stations, public transportation and post offices. The Prime Minister announced that they were and would be brought back. All those things which have been said here show the scale of negligence and how much had to be done for the Polish countryside – pointed out Beata Szydło.

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