Poland on the brink: Anti-Brussels government set to collapse after Deputy PM sacked

EU: Expert on fears of Poland being 'marginalised'

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Jaroslaw Gowin, head of the Porozumienie party, a junior member of the coalition, was dismissed for publicly criticising Warsaw’s proposed tax reforms, arguing the hikes would “hit millions of hard-working Poles”. Any split would leave the ruling Law and Justice party, a harsh critic of Brussels, 12 seats short of a parliamentary majority. Mr Gowin told reporters: “We are leaving the government with our heads held high.

“My resignation means the end of the United Right and the break-up of the coalition .”

His resignation came on the eve of a key vote on a draft media law that critics say is an attempt to silence a broadcaster critical of the government.

But the Polish government is unnerved and is confident that it has a majority of pass its Broadcasting Act later today.

Spokesman Piotr Muller said: “I am counting on it that questions related to the media law will gain a majority in parliament and I am sure that the United Right government will continue to function.”

Until now, the United Right coalition had 232 of the 260 seats in the lower house.

Mr Gowin complained that he learnt of his sacking through the media.

His party has been critical over the so-called Polish Deal of economic reforms.

The former Deputy Prime Minister said: “We announced that the United Right would not raise taxes. However, the tax bill recently presented by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki means a drastic tax increase not only for entrepreneurs, but for all enterprising people, the middle class.”

Polish Prime Minister Mr Morawiecki must now secure the support of MPs from other parties, including the far-right, to maintain his parliamentary majority.

The battle between the two parties in the coalition has been brutal.

Last week, Mr Morawiecki sacked one of Mr Gowin’s close allies from a low-ranking ministerial post.

And the PM also sacked his deputy, giving him less than ten minutes’ notice before his dismissal was announced to the public.

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Mr Morawiecki’s spokesman said Mr Gowin had “undermined confidence” in the government with his “unreliable actions”.

Law and Justice’s tenure as the leaders of the nationalist conservative coalition has been blighted by rows with its various partners.

In June, the government lost its majority when three MPs walked out amid a dispute over its plans to gradually shut down the coal industry.

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And it is also under pressure from pro-Brussels rivals, such as Donald tusk, who is returning as the leader of the main opposition Civic Platform.

The European Commission has been at logger heads with the Warsaw government over a number of reforms that it says are in breach of EU rules and values.

Mr Tusk, a former president of the European Council, is vying to win over what he sees as a pro-EU majority in Poland.

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