April 18. 2024. 1:31

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Polish PM will ‘do anything’ to stop EU combustion engine ban


Poland remains the only EU country to openly oppose the ban on the sale of new cars with petrol or diesel engines from 2035, with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki saying he will “do anything” for it not to come into force.

On Tuesday, the Council approved the Commission’s proposed facto ban on new combustion engine cars from 2035 but accepted the exemption for e-fuels as demanded by Germany. Poland was the only country to vote against the ban, with Bulgaria, Romania and Italy abstaining.

“The ban on the sale of combustion cars after 2035 is unacceptable for the government,” Morawiecki tweeted on Thursday. “We will do anything to protect Polish families against another pseudo-green idea by rich countries and bureaucrats from Brussels,” he wrote.

In a video announcement that came with Morawiecki’s tweet, the prime minister said his Law and Justice Party (PiS, ECR) prioritises Poland’s green transition, but “not if its targets are set during backstage negotiations against the will and interests of millions of Europeans, including Poles.”

According to the government, the ban would hit the budgets of Polish families, prevent millions of people from adequately using transportation and undermine the country’s industry that produces components for many world’s top car brands.

The prime minister’s announcement comes as PiS launched its campaign in the local and parliamentary elections, which will take place in autumn this year. In some previous elections, the party gained much support, fuelling sceptical moods towards the EU among its electorate.

Some view Poland’s opposition as an attempt at shifting public debate, which has been focused on the government’s dispute with the European Commission over EU recovery funds and farmers blaming the government for the massive influx in grain imports coming from Ukraine.

(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | EURACTIV.pl)