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'Alcoholism is a serious social issue': Polish gov’t spokesman

08.11.2022 09:00
The spokesman for the Polish government has said that "alcoholism is a serious social issue” after the country’s conservative leader warned of the effects of excessive alcohol consumption among young women.
Piotr Mller.
Piotr Müller.PAP/Rafał Guz

Piotr Müller, the government spokesman, made the remark in a media interview on Monday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Müller was asked on television if he agreed with a comment last weekend by Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland’s conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.  

At a meeting with voters in the northeastern city of Ełk on Saturday, Kaczyński spoke about alcoholism among young women and its impact on their ability to be mothers and on the country's birth rate, the PAP news agency reported.

Kaczyński said: “If she hits the bottle and drinks until the age of 25, then ... it’s not a good thing” for the birth rate.

Alcoholism 'is a serious social issue’

The government spokesman told Polsat News on Monday that Kaczyński’s remark “should be viewed in slightly broader terms.”

He added: “The problem of alcoholism in the broad sense, in various social groups, is a serious social issue.”

Earlier on Monday, opposition politicians said they would ask a parliamentary ethics committee to punish Kaczyński for his “disgraceful words about women.”

Polish leftist politician Robert Biedroń, a member of the European Parliament, told reporters that Kaczyński was “conducting another smear campaign against women” and that his words “must not go unpunished.”      

Müller commented: “The leftist opposition has often said that the government should do more to tackle such social issues" as alcoholism.

“If they submit a bill to combat alcoholism, then we’ll discuss it," he added.   

Plan for new measures to boost fertility

At his meeting with voters in Ełk on Saturday, Kaczyński pledged that his ruling conservative party would maintain existing family-friendly policies and introduce new measures to boost Poland’s fertility rate. 

He said young families would be supported through “house-building programmes and other incentives.”

Speaking about the problem of alcoholism among young women, Kaczyński said, as quoted by the PAP news agency: “If girls, young women up to 25 years of age, continue to drink as much as their male peers, there will be no children.”

He added that “a man must drink excessively for 20 years on average to descend into alcoholism,” whereas “for a woman just two years is enough.”

He cautioned against “very early motherhood,” stressing that “a woman must be mature enough to be a mother," the PAP news agency reported.    

“But if she hits the bottle and drinks until the age of 25, then, and I’m joking a bit here, it’s not a good thing,” Kaczyński said.


Source: PAP, tvpparlament.plwpolityce.pl