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Polish defence minister responds to calls for resignation

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Polish defence minister responds to calls for resignation

Minister of Defence Antoni Macierewicz sought on Monday to deflect calls for his resignation, following an open letter by six of his predecessors.

Referring to the open letter, Macierewicz argued that the signatories are collectively responsible for what he described as “the drastically bad condition of the army” that he inherited after the Law and Justice party won the 25 October general election.

He claimed that the audit published last week concerning the previous government was correct in its assessment of the armed forces.

“The diagnosis that the Polish armed forces were not capable of defending the country... was very mildly worded,” he said.

He also accused the former ruling coalition of ordering the army's counter-intelligence department to carry out surveillance on about 60 figures, including journalists, politicians and people associated with the Law and Justice party.

Police arrest Pole suspected of people smuggling

He likewise lashed out at former defence minister and foreign minister Radosław Sikorski, claiming that he is responsible for a US missile shield not being built in Poland.

A deal to build the shield was signed in 2008 in Warsaw, but incoming president Barack Obama then scrapped the plan. A scaled down version is now scheduled to be built.

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