* Cites lack of supervision over gas monopoly
* Calls for changes at PGNiG
* PGNiG shares down 1.5 pct
(Adds shares, comments from nominated minister, details,
repeats without changes to additional subscribers)
WARSAW, April 19 Poland's prime minister fired
his treasury minister on Friday for failing to supervise the
country's gas monopoly PGNiG and its dealings with
The government was embarrassed earlier this month after
premier Donald Tusk and Treasury Minister Mikolaj Budzanowski
learned from media reports that a company controlled by PGNiG
and Gazprom signed a memorandum to build a second segment of the
Yamal-Europe gas pipeline via Poland.
Energy issues related to Russia are a hot political topic in
Poland, which is seeking to reduce reliance on oil and gas from
its eastern neighbour and former communist era master. Russia
accounts for 90 percent of Poland's oil imports and more than
half of its gas.
The Polish government also fears that the new leg of the
Yamal pipeline would allow Russia to shut down another pipeline
through Ukraine - Poland's ally which it hopes will join it one
day as a European Union member.
Ukraine has often clashed with Russia over the price it pays
for gas imports.
Polish government opponents said the pipeline deal
disclosure was fresh evidence of Budzanowski's inability to
monitor state companies after state airline LOT warned of a
massive loss and received a state rescue in November.
Tusk criticised Budzanowski for failing to monitor PGNiG
properly and said he expected further consequences.
"In my view, the oversight function was not fully
implemented," Tusk told a news conference.
"I will await fast actions from the new treasury minister
with regards to PGNiG, including personal consequences that
should come first," he said.
Analysts speculated this could mean the dismissal of PGNiG
Chief Executive Grazyna Piotrowska-Oliwa, Budzanowski's close
PGNiG declined to comment.
Gazprom has long been in talks with European countries about
an expansion of the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which runs through
Belarus and Poland to Germany.
Shares in PGNiG fell 1.5 percent in afternoon trade while
Warsaw's main WIG20 index was little changed.
Deputy Administration and Digitization Minister Wlodzimierz
Karpinski will replace Budzanowski, who had held his post since
November 2011, Tusk said.
(Reporting by Adrian Krajewski, Agnieszka Barteczko, Pawel
Bernat; Writing by Chris Borowski; Editing by David Cowell)