Polish government reshuffle expected this week-media reports

Polish government reshuffle expected this week-media reports
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

WARSAW - Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will probably announce changes to his cabinet this week, earlier than expected, local media reported on Monday, to try to boost his party's flagging fortunes before elections.

Tusk is widely expected to replace at least five of his ministers, including Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski and Environment Minister Marcin Korolec.

The move, exactly halfway through the government's four-year term, would be aimed at rebuilding confidence in Tusk's Civic Platform (PO) party and preparing it for regional polls next year and a parliamentary election in 2015.

He had been expected to make the changes in late November or early December, but brought the date forward so his announcement would coincide with a party convention this weekend, when he hopes to detract attention from divisions, analysts said.

The Civic Platform has been losing public support steadily for months, largely due to the collapse of economic growth which saw Poland ride out five years of financial turmoil in Europe without falling into recession.

The government's ongoing pension changes have worried stock investors, who say that the limited role of private pension funds, key investors of the Warsaw bourse, would hit stocks.

More recently, Transport Minister Slawomir Nowak resigned after prosecutors said he may have broken the law by failing to declare his ownership of a US$6,600 (S$8,230) wristwatch. All lawmakers in Poland must declare possessions worth more than 10,000 zlotys (US$3,200).

Nowak, 38, had been tipped by some as a future prime minister. Earlier this year, Polish media reported on how he had a fondness for wearing expensive watches, including Swiss brands such as Hublot and Ulysse Nardin.

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