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Poland wants to raise spending on defence

The Polish government wants to amend the constitution so that it can raise defence expenditure and confiscate Russian oligarchs’ assets following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a government spokesman says.

The Defence of the Fatherland Act adopted this month says that Poland’s defence spending will increase to 3 per cent of GDP, which could result in exceeding budgetary thresholds enshrined in the constitution.

“The Polish army must be immediately equipped to the highest standards, therefore one of the proposed changes to the constitution will be the exclusion of expenditure on the army and armaments from the public debt threshold,” Piotr Muller said.

He said a second issue which requires changes to the constitution is the possibility of confiscating the assets of Russian oligarchs and companies which support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The money could then be spent on humanitarian aid, Muller said.

The government also wants to impose extra taxes on companies which continue activities in Russia.

“Discussions on these issues have started and we hope that these proposals will be adopted. We are open to discussions,” Muller said.

Changes to the constitution require a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament and an absolute majority in the opposition-dominated Senate, so the government’s proposals need to be supported by other political parties.

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