Position: Prime Minister of Poland
Incumbent: Donald Tusk
Date of Birth: April 22, 1957
Term: Became head of government in November 2007 after his
centre-right Civic Platform (PO) won parliamentary election. The
next election is expected to take place in October 2011.
A pragmatic centrist, Tusk has largely delivered on his 2007
campaign promise of restoring political stability and
predictability to Poland after two turbulent years of rule by a
right-wing coalition led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
Under Tusk's leadership, Poland was the only nation in the
27-member European Union to avoid recession last year, though
large inflows of EU aid along with tax cuts inherited from
Kaczynski played a big part in maintaining economic growth.
-- Tusk is one of Poland's most popular politicians and his
party is tipped to win a fresh four-year term next year, partly
due to the lack of a credible opposition. Tusk declined to run
for Poland's presidency in a July election, saying he wanted to
remain in government to carry out reforms. His close ally
Bronislaw Komorowski, also from PO, was elected president.
-- Tusk depicts his party as pro-business but he has
eschewed radical market reforms, originally saying that
President Lech Kaczynski would veto them. After the president's
death in a plane crash in April, he cited opposition from his
government's junior coalition partner, the Peasants' Party, and
the approach of parliamentary polls.
-- Tusk made populist gestures such as salary hikes for
teachers and doctors during the economic slowdown but has
reluctantly agreed to increase value-added tax and to cap
spending next year to help rein in a large budget deficit.
-- An enthusiastic pro-European, Tusk pledged to take Poland
into the euro zone in 2012 but was forced to scrap the plan
after the global crisis drove up the budget deficit.
-- In foreign policy, Tusk has "reset" relations with
Poland's biggest neighbours Germany and Russia as well as with
the European Union, which were badly strained under Jaroslaw
Kaczynski's government in 2005-07.
-- Keen to project a clean public image, Tusk acted swiftly
to sack officials implicated in a scandal over gambling
legislation last year. He has also demonstrated a sure political
instinct in touring regions badly hit by severe flooding this
year and promising swift aid to affected towns and villages.
-- A native of Poland's Baltic port of Gdansk, Tusk studied
history and became involved in the pro-democracy Solidarity
movement that overthrew communism in 1989. After stints in both
the upper and lower houses of Poland's parliament, Tusk became
leader of PO in April 2003.
(Compiled by Gabriela Baczynska and Gareth Jones; Editing by