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Polish parliament approves Warsaw's stance against EU budget plan

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland’s lower house of parliament on Thursday passed a resolution sponsored by the prime minister supporting Warsaw’s stance on vetoing the EU’s budget and recovery fund plans.

Poland and Hungary have refused to back the financial plan for the European Union even though they are beneficiaries, since the money has been made conditional on countries respecting the rule of law, an issue over which Warsaw and Budapest’s ruling nationalists have repeatedly clashed with Brussels.

The resolution, passed by a 236-209 margin with one abstention, “will strengthen the prime minister in further negotiations,” Sebastian Kaleta, a member of one of the smaller parties in the ruling coalition, wrote on Twitter.

Government spokesman Piotr Muller thanked lawmakers for their support. “We are convinced that a compromise will be reached in the negotiation process that will enable the Polish government to accept a solution,” he told Reuters.

EU leaders were on Thursday due to discuss the Polish and Hungarian veto on the 1.8 trillion euro plan meant to help member states recover from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But EU officials do not expect the matter to be resolved this week.

Muller said an acceptable proposal for Poland had not yet been presented and was unlikely to be agreed during the EU leaders’ talks.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, in an address to parliament on Wednesday, railed against what he said was the unequal treatment of some EU member states.

The draft of the resolution states that the lower house “appreciates the fact that Polish representatives have blocked further work on the package of budget solutions”.

It also calls on EU states to return to talks aimed at reaching a compromise in line with EU treaties and the conclusions of a European Council meeting in July.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko, Pawel Florkiewicz, Joanna Plucinska and Alan Charlish; Editing by Mark Heinrich