Donald Tusk calls Polish VAT fraud investigation ‘an abuse of power’

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, faced parliamentary questions in Warsaw on June 17 over allegations that he failed to prevent VAT fraud while Polish prime minister from 2007 to 2014.

Marcin Horała, chairperson of the committee investigating VAT issues and a member of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, said there was “at least a suspicion” that Mr Tusk “either did not sufficiently supervise the services reporting to him or did not take appropriate action that could protect the state budget from VAT fraud.”

PiS has accused Mr Tusk’s government of allowing 250 billion zloty to be stolen from the government budget via VAT fraud.

Mr Tusk called the accusations “odious and absurd”, arguing it was “all propaganda” in the run-up to Poland’s general election in October. He said that the parliamentary committee, the majority of whose members are from PiS, was guilty of a “political abuse of power”.

He also said that PiS had opposed many of the steps his government proposed to curb abuse of the VAT system, adding that the problem of tax evasion by private businesses has continued since he left office.