Polish central bank controversy latest hit for ruling party

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's central bank revealed Wednesday that its head of public relations earns an unusually high salary, the latest embarrassment for the ruling right-wing party, which says it is focused on serving the country, not making money.

The controversy around the state-backed central bank comes at a sensitive time of political campaigning ahead of the May elections to the European Parliament and to the national parliament in the fall.

The National Bank of Poland was obliged to publish the 2018 earnings of department directors by a new law. The law was adopted in response to media reports that the salary of the head of PR, who is also a close aide to bank President Adam Glapinski, was surprisingly high.

The PR head earned almost 50,000 zlotys ($13,065) a month in 2018, more than any other department head in the bank. The national monthly average is some 4,500 zlotys.

Opposition lawmakers have called on the PR chief to return part of her earnings. Users on Twitter were pointing out that teachers and nurses are earning below the national average as their sectors are chronically strapped for cash.

In another recent setback for the ruling Law and Justice party, its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, is facing allegations he solicited a bribe and taken part in business negotiations, in violation of the law.