Polish president pledges more jobless aid amid virus

In a major re-election campaign speech, Poland’s president on Friday outlined a plan for more aid to the unemployed, including a special allowance to workers who lose their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis.

President Andrzej Duda is seen on a television screen as he outlines his second-term vision for Poland in a televised speech on Friday.

President Andrzej Duda is seen on a television screen as he outlines his second-term vision for Poland in a televised speech on Friday. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Andrzej Duda said in the televised speech that the new “solidarity allowance” would come to PLN 1,200 (EUR 260, USD 290) a month and be paid over a period of three months.

Meanwhile, the regular unemployment benefit should go up to PLN 1,300 a month, Duda also said, as the coronavirus threatens jobs in Poland and elsewhere.

At the moment, unemployed Poles are paid under PLN 900 a month, broadcaster TVP Info reported.

Duda also said during his two-and-a-half-hour campaign speech that work was nearing completion to set up a special medical fund to help treat people who have cancer and suffer from various rare diseases.

The new fund would be endowed with some PLN 3 billion (EUR 660 million, USD 720 million), he added, as he summed up his first five years in office and outlined his second-term vision for Poland.

Duda formally launched his re-election campaign at a convention of Poland’s governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party in mid-February.

He has vowed not to hold large public gatherings as part of his re-election bid to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

As it stands, Poland’s presidential elections are due to take place on May 10, with a potential second round scheduled for May 24.

The Polish parliament on April 6 passed a bill under which presidential elections would be held by postal vote.

Meanwhile, opposition politicians have called for the ballot to be postponed amid the epidemic. 

Duda’s contenders in the presidential race include centrist Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska; middle-of-the-road politician Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, leader of the rural-based Polish People’s Party (PSL); leftist Robert Biedroń; far-right hopeful Krzysztof Bosak; and celebrity journalist Szymon Hołownia.

A total of 13,105 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease in Poland, with 650 deaths from the coronavirus so far, public health officials said on Friday.


Source: PAP, TVP Info

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Bartłomiej Misiewic
Lina: Written By Ste