Polish PM accuses Hollande of ‘blackmail’ after EU summit

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Polish prime minister Beata Szydło accused French president Francois Hollande of “blackmail” after an ill-tempered summit of EU leaders on Friday.

Warsaw had attempted to block the reappointment of European Council president Donald Tusk and refused to sign off the final conclusions of the meeting. In response, Mr Hollande pointed out that Poland was one of the biggest recipients of EU structural funds – something that riled the Polish leader.

“I will not accept blackmail from a president with an approval rating of four percent who is about to leave his office,” said Ms Szydło.

Poland is set to receive over €100bn from EU funds during the current budget period from 2014 to 2020. This generous settlement is regularly brought up by fellow leaders during contentious debates over topics such as migration, where Warsaw has radically differed with leaders in Berlin and Paris.

“Some leaders in Europe believe that everything and anything can be bought with money and I said that that is not our opinion last night,” said the Polish premier.

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