Polish lawmakers to submit motion to bring central bank chief before tribunal

By Thomson Reuters Mar 26, 2024 | 3:50 AM

WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish lawmakers will submit a motion on Tuesday to bring the central bank governor before the State Tribunal, setting in train an unprecedented process that could result in him being removed from his post.

The move is part of a broader drive by the coalition government of Donald Tusk, a former European Council president, to bring to account those it accuses of wrongdoing under the previous administration.

Governor Adam Glapinski’s ties to the former ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party go back decades and he took up a second six-year term as central bank governor in 2022.

Attempting to oust him is a potentially risky move, however. Christine Lagarde, head of the European Central Bank, told Glapinski in a letter that he could refer any such move to the EU’s top court as it might affect the independence of the central bank.

The charges facing Glapinski include lacking independence from the previous government, breaking constitutional rules that prevent the central bank from financing government borrowing, and misleading the finance ministry about the bank’s financial results.

“The independence of the National Bank of Poland is very important, it is important from the point of view of the Polish economy, the budget and for Polish entrepreneurs and institutions,” said Janusz Cichon, chairman of parliament’s Public Finance Committee and a member of Tusk’s Civic Coalition (KO).

Glapinski says he has always done his job independent of political influence.

He has staunchly defended his record, pointing to a sharp fall in inflation over recent months and saying that quantitative easing was essential to rescue the largest economy in the east of the European Union during the pandemic.

The road to removing Glapinski, whose term ends in 2028, could be long.

The motion will have to be investigated by a parliamentary commission before going to a vote by the full chamber. Only then will the case before the State Tribunal be able to begin.

Dariusz Jonski, deputy head of the commission, told Radio TOK FM on Monday the initial investigation could start in April, after an Easter break.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish; editing by Christina Fincher)