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Poland’s coal-mining region to get government’s support

Poland’s coal-mining region to get government’s support

WARSAW: The Polish government held its weekly sitting in the southern city of Katowice, Lower Silesia on Tuesday during which it adopted its “Slask 2.0” development program for the coal-mining region of Silesia aimed at supporting energy-intensive industry and preventing structural unemployment.

The plan, worth about PLN 25 billion zlotys to be financed from the EU as well as state and local governments, envisages various measures aimed at reindustrialization of the region. They include among others, setting up a regional investments fund, exempting energy-intensive industry (mainly mines, steelworks, metals and chemicals firms) from partial costs related to the purchase of green certificates, reducing their combined expenditure by some PLN 450 million.

The Polish government will accelerate construction of S1 national road for PLN 3.9 billion and of S69 road for PLN 1.55 billion and continue works on A1 motorway. A part of the plan is also a PLN 1.8 billion to PLN 4.2 billion coal gasification plant that the government wants built by chemicals group Azoty. The program for Silesia had been approved by trade unions, PM Ewa Kopacz said after meeting miners’ trade union representatives in Katowice.

Ruling party Civic Platform (PO) strategists hope that the move will enable the party to reverse negative trends in voter support. Lower Silesia region used to be PO’s stronghold but in recent presidential election the candidate of main opposition Law and Justice (PiS) Andrzej Duda lost with incumbent president Bronislaw Komorowski only by a slight margin.