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Opposition leader warns about possible coal shortages

Tusk, who leads the centrist Civic Platform (PO) and is a former prime minister, visited the Polish coastal city of Kolobrzeg on Thursday.
Artur Reszko/PAP

Dozens of Polish towns and cities may face severe coal shortages and be hit by high prices for the commodity when the heating season starts in two to three months, Donald Tusk, the leader of Poland’s main opposition party, has warned.

Tusk, who leads the centrist Civic Platform (PO) and is a former prime minister, visited the Polish coastal city of Kolobrzeg on Thursday.

At a local heating plant, he said that “in two to three months Kolobrzeg and dozens of other Polish towns will face a dramatic situation – there will be no coal, and if by some miracle they’ll be able to buy coal, it will be hundreds of percent more expensive.”

“I don’t have to explain to anybody what this means for the city and consumers of the energy, including the low-income residents of blocks of flats,” he said.

Prices of coal have doubled over the past year on the back of commodity shortages and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“Local government officials and unionists as well as people who are responsible for energy policy in Kolobrzeg are going to Warsaw to convince the government that swift and radical decisions are needed,” Tusk said, adding that his party would support the initiative.

He also accused the government of squandering PLN 60 billion (EUR 12.5 billion) in revenue it has received from selling the CO2 emission rights allotted to Poland by the EU.

“No-one has seen the money since then,” he said. “No-one knows what has happened to the money that was supposed to be invested in a more modern and safer energy sector,” he said.


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