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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2006, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Polish PM 'mends fences' with EU
Jaroslaw Kaczynski
Mr Kaczynski believes Poland has an issue with its image
Poland is not planning to reinstate the death penalty, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said.

Mr Barroso said he was reassured on the issue by new Polish PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski during talks in Brussels.

Mr Kaczynski's recent suggestion about the need to start a debate on the issue caused concern in Brussels. The death penalty is outlawed in the EU.

Mr Kaczynski's visit to Brussels is aimed at improving Poland's negative image, Polish officials say.

Poland's new government has also been criticised on its stance on gay rights and its populist economic policies.

Image problem

Mr Kaczynski's conservative Law and Justice party came to power last autumn.

We will be able to clear up all misunderstandings... Our partners will know there is nothing bad going on in Poland
Jaroslaw Kaczynski
Polish Prime Minister

Since then, the EU's biggest newcomer has been accused of economic nationalism and failing to engage in the debate shaping the 25-member bloc's future.

Mr Kaczynski's coalition also includes populist and right-wing Catholic parties whose views are considered out of step with the mainstream in Western Europe, BBC's Adam Easton reports.

The European Commission earlier this year condemned the governing party's proposal to debate bringing back the death penalty.

In response, Mr Kaczynski said the government had no plans to reintroduce capital punishment.

In June, the European Parliament passed a resolution criticising Poland for rising intolerance towards gay and Jewish people.

At home, the prime minister has a reputation for having an uncompromising domestic vision but little interest in foreign affairs.


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