Europe

New Poland President Andrzej Duda sworn in

Polish President Andrzej Duda kneels before a military flag before taking over authority Polish Armed Forces as the Polish Armed forces during the ceremony at Pilsudski Square in Warsaw, Poland Image copyright EPA
Image caption Poland's president has limited powers, but is head of the armed forces and can veto new laws

Poland's new President, Andrzej Duda, has been sworn in following his surprise election victory in May.

In his inauguration speech, Mr Duda called for an increased Nato presence in the region and said an adjustment to Polish foreign policy was required.

He is pushing for Poland to have a greater role in resolving the Ukraine crisis.

His inauguration signals the beginning of a shift in Polish politics, says the BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw.

The new head of state means change because he is supported by Poland's right-wing party, Law and Justice, currently in opposition but the front-runner to form a new government following elections to be held in October.

Poland's relationships with Germany and the European Union will change and perhaps become more difficult, our correspondent says.

If Brussels presses Poland to move away from burning coal for example, Mr Duda has threatened to abandon EU climate goals.

The new president is concerned about the threat from Russia and wants Nato troops to be permanently stationed in Poland.

He has also stressed his wish to focus on improved relations with neighbours in central and Eastern Europe.

Mr Duda promised to uphold his election pledges, which included lowering the retirement age and raising the tax-free income threshold.

The powers of Poland's president are limited to approving or rejecting legislation and proposing new laws.

A practising Catholic, Mr Duda is conservative on issues like IVF treatment, abortion and same-sex marriages. He also wants to help the less well-off and has pledged to lower the retirement age as well as give tax breaks to low-paid workers.

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