World: Poland wants generous EU budget for Central Europe

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish President Andrzej Duda said Friday that the European Union’s budget for the next seven years should be generous for Central European nations, which aim to help drive the economic recovery from the coronavirus recession.

Poland's President Andrzej Duda, center, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, second right, are taking a family photo with Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, right, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, left and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, second left, at the start of a Visegrad Group summit in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, July 3, 2020, as Poland takes the rotating presidency of the regional cooperation group.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) © Provided by Associated Press Poland's President Andrzej Duda, center, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, second right, are taking a family photo with Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, right, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, left and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, second left, at the start of a Visegrad Group summit in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, July 3, 2020, as Poland takes the rotating presidency of the regional cooperation group.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) Poland's President Andrzej Duda, center, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, left, welcome Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, right, for a Visegrad Group summit in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, July 3, 2020, as Poland takes the rotating presidency of the regional cooperation group that also includes the Czech Republic and Hungary.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) © Provided by Associated Press Poland's President Andrzej Duda, center, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, left, welcome Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, right, for a Visegrad Group summit in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, July 3, 2020, as Poland takes the rotating presidency of the regional cooperation group that also includes the Czech Republic and Hungary.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Duda spoke to open a summit of prime ministers of the Visegrad Group, a regional cooperation group that also includes the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, of which Poland is taking the 12-month rotational presidency.

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Poland's President Andrzej Duda, center, are welcomes Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, for a Visegrad Group summit in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, July 3, 2020, as Poland takes the rotating presidency of the regional cooperation group that also includes the Czech Republic and Hungary.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) © Provided by Associated Press Poland's President Andrzej Duda, center, are welcomes Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, for a Visegrad Group summit in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, July 3, 2020, as Poland takes the rotating presidency of the regional cooperation group that also includes the Czech Republic and Hungary.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

“We want our region to be one of the poles of development in Europe after the pandemic. We have great ambitions but also great development needs," Duda said.

“For that reason we want an ambitious European budget that will be focused on development, on European cohesion and on big structural investments that will fuel European economy in our region.”

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Duda urged the government leaders to agree on a joint strategy for the ongoing 2021-2027 budget negotiations among the 27 EU members. Some members want the budget reduced for Poland and Hungary saying their government policies violate EU principles of the rule of law and democracy.

“I want the budget negotiations to be closed as soon as possible, with the desirable results,” Duda said.

He was addressing prime ministers of Slovakia, Igor Matovic, The Czech Republic, Andrej Babis, of Hungary, Viktor Orban and Poland's Mateusz Morawiecki.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed for a quick agreement on a recovery fund aimed at pulling the EU out of the coronavirus recession. Speaking to the upper house of parliament she said that “every day counts.”

Germany this week took over the rotating EU presidency for six months, giving it a key role in trying to reach a deal on the recovery fund.

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Poland's President Andrzej Duda, center, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, second right, are taking a family photo with Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, right, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, left and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, second left, at the start of a Visegrad Group summit in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, July 3, 2020, as Poland takes the rotating presidency of the regional cooperation group. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) © Provided by Associated Press Poland's President Andrzej Duda, center, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, second right, are taking a family photo with Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, right, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, left and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, second left, at the start of a Visegrad Group summit in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, July 3, 2020, as Poland takes the rotating presidency of the regional cooperation group. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) Poland's President Andrzej Duda, left, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, center, welcome Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, right, for a Visegrad Group summit in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, July 3, 2020, as Poland takes the rotating presidency of the regional cooperation group that also includes the Czech Republic and Hungary.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) © Provided by Associated Press Poland's President Andrzej Duda, left, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, center, welcome Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, right, for a Visegrad Group summit in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, July 3, 2020, as Poland takes the rotating presidency of the regional cooperation group that also includes the Czech Republic and Hungary.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Andrzej Duda: Trump ally declared winner of Poland's presidential race .
Poland's incumbent President Andrzej Duda is set to be re-elected after narrowly beating his opponent, Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, in the weekend's tightly fought election.Duda, backed by the nationalist ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, won with 51.21% of the vote, the country's election committee said Monday. The more liberal Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, of the center-right opposition Civic Platform party (PO), garnered 48.79%.

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