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Poland won’t give in to EU’s demands, PiS party says

The leader of Poland’s ruling party has played down pressure exerted by the European Union on Warsaw in an ongoing conflict over an overhaul of the nation’s judiciary.

The European Commission last month denounced Polish laws giving the ruling party greater power over the judiciary, saying they violate fundamental European values.

The European Commission’s Deputy Chief Frans Timmermans had also warned in July that Poland was “perilously close” to facing sanctions. Brussels is threatening that continuation of judicial reforms could lead to sanctions against Poland.

In response to the threats, Poland’s Law and Justice party (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on Friday that the country would stay on course with its reform plans and will not give in to Brussels’ threats.

Kaczynski was quoted by Gazeta Polska as saying in an interview that “the program of deep changes of our country will not be stopped, just the opposite.”

The party leader claimed that Brussels had exploited Poland for years, adding that it was impossible to get along with the “forces” in Brussels.

PiS insists that its reforms to the judiciary were necessary to speed-up courts in the country which are slow, inefficient, and impacted by a communist-era mentality.

Critics say the reforms in the judiciary would grant the PiS-controlled legislature de facto control over the selection of judges.