WARSAW, June 18 Prime Minister Donald Tusk said
on Tuesday Poland would not bow to political pressure over bills
from foreign construction firms of about 10 billion zlotys ($3.2
billion) for work carried out under an EU-backed road-building
Tusk said he was "not impressed" by a letter from the
ambassadors of Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, the
Netherlands and Portugal urging Poland to explain why roads
agency GDDKiA had not paid the firms what they say they are
GDDKiA says it is the contractors that are at fault, but the
dispute risks harming Warsaw's reputation in Brussels, which is
pumping huge sums into Polish roads and railways.
"This letter has not impressed me much," Tusk told a news
conference, referring to the letter seen by Reuters and
addressed to Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister
Janusz Piechocinski. "There is no reason for GDDKiA to make
concessions in the face of political pressure," Tusk said.
It was the first time the EU governments had formally joined
forces in the dispute, raising diplomatic pressure on Warsaw.
The letter said the unpaid money pointed to fundamental and
systemic problems in the way Poland manages big civil
The letter called the sum owed "unusual and unprecedented"
and it asked Piechocinski to look into the matter.
Firms that have been in dispute with the Polish road agency
over payments include Austria's Strabag and Alpine
Bau, a unit of Germany's Bilfinger, Ireland's SIAC,
SISK and Roadbridge, and a unit of Spain's Ferrovial.