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Poland's PM wins vote on reform plan

Nov. 19, 2011 at 12:57 PM

WARSAW, Poland, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk won a vote of confidence in his new government after setting up a platform of stringent reform.

Tusk's coalition of his center-right Civil Platform and the small agrarian People's party took 234 votes in the 460-member lower chamber, the BBC reported.

In attempts to safeguard the country from the continuing debt crisis, Tusk intends to raise the retirement age to 67 and eliminate tax and pension perks for farmers miners, policemen, firemen and priests, which would save Poland about $3 billion a year.

Tusk, the only Polish leader to be re-elected since the end of communism, plans to reduce Poland's budget deficit to 1 percent by the end of 2015.

As the only country in the European Union to avoid recession, Poland's economy is forecast to grow by about 4 percent, the highest rate among the EU's seven largest economies.

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