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New Polish Cabinet Sworn In

2 May 2004 -- Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski today swore in a new government led by Prime Minister Marek Belka.

The cabinet was sworn in at the presidential palace following the formal resignation earlier today of outgoing Prime Minister Leszek Miller and his team.

The change comes just one day after Poland joined the European Union. Miller announced in March that he would step down on this day. He was under pressure from the ruling Democratic Left Alliance to go because of a slumping economy, unresolved corruption allegations, and plunging popularity ratings.

Belka's new cabinet however retains several of Miller's key ministers, including Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski, and Economy Minister Jerzy Hausner.

Their continued presence, along with that of Kwasniewski, is expected to provide continuity in a drive for economic reforms and in Poland's mission commanding a multinational force in south-central Iraq.

Belka has pledged to continue Kwasniewski and Miller's policy of remaining in Iraq until the situation there stabilizes.

Belka will have two weeks to win a confidence vote in parliament.


(Click here to see RFE/RL's "EU Expands Eastward" webpage.)