The Polish government is ready for the winter and the opposition’s “hopes” that the country will not be able to cope with shortages of coal will not materialize, the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jarosław Kaczyński told a rally in the city of Radom in central Poland on Wednesday.
He admitted that the refusal of some local governments to help with the distribution of coal was a problem but believes there will not be any shortage of coal, only isolated instances which would quickly be addressed.
Speaking in a city run by a pro-opposition mayor, Kaczyński attacked local government leaders who according to him were behaving “as if they were not part of the state, and even against the state.” He hinted that the opposition mayors were hoping the government could be brought down by a difficult winter.
“They will be disappointed, we will not be brought down by winter,” said Kaczyński, but he warned that there might be some instances of hardship that would be publicized by pro-opposition media.
The PiS party leader said that it was a matter of concern that some local governments behaved in such a divisive way. He asserted that local democracy must remain but that the state must have the appropriate mechanisms to ensure that it can cope with crisis situations, especially at a time of war and economic crisis.
Kaczyński admitted that local governments do have an impact on how Poland copes with the challenges facing it. He said that the mayor of Radom should not follow his party’s line but should participate in helping the state to serve and protect his community, as his main duty was to the inhabitants of his city and also the state.
“Nothing can relieve him of that duty,” said Kaczyński.
There has been considerable controversy about how local governments could or should be involved in the distribution of coal. Local governments in Poland have a general power of competence and often perform delegated powers for the central government.
However, many of them have argued that they do not have the necessary logistical resources to distribute coal to their local populations. Some opposition mayors have accused the government of attempting to lumber local governments with responsibility for the shortage of coal and problems with its distribution.