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Polish Premier opts for early elections if austerity plan collapses

Prime Minister Leszek Miller said on 5 February that his ruling Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) will support a motion to dissolve the lower house and call for early parliamentary elections if the Sejm fails to approve the fiscal austerity package known as the Hausner plan, PAP reported.

The SLD, which leads a minority coalition government, is seeking to ensure support for the Hausner plan from the Civic Platform, the largest opposition party in the Sejm. The "Gazeta Wyborcza" website (http://serwisy.gazeta.pl/wyborcza) reported on 6 February that Miller was scheduled to discuss the Hausner plan with Civic Platform leader Jan Maria Rokita later the same day.

The Civic Platform reportedly wants the SLD to support the introduction of a 15 percent flat tax in exchange for the Civic Platform's backing. "Gazeta Wyborcza" predicted that the Civic Platform will not oppose the Hausner plan even if the SLD rejects the flat-tax idea.

(RFE/RL 6.ii.04)

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