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Rostowski's 'war' comment draws sharp criticism

15th September 2011
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Poland's finance minister alluded to the possibility of a European war on Wednesday

Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski
Courtesy of the European Parliament

At a speech before the European Parliament on Wednesday, Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski said “Europe was in danger” and that if the euro zone collapsed, the European Union itself wouldn't be able to survive for long. But what really caused a stir were the FM's allusions to the possibility of war in Europe as a result of the current crisis.

“I recently met a friend who worked with me during the period of [economic] transformation and is now the president of a big Polish bank. He said, 'You know after such economic and political shocks, it rarely is the case that after ten years, there would be no catastrophic war. I am seriously thinking of getting my children an American green card.'”

Mr Rostowski concluded by saying European leaders “cannot allow that to happen.”

Reaction was swift.

“Speaking today about the possibility of war and the need to move to the USA, is one could say, the Mount Everest of irresponsibility,” Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of opposition party Law and Justice, told journalists.

Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Jerzy Wenderlich from the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) said “such a person shouldn't be holding a piggy-bank in his hands, much less the state's budget,” and called for Mr Rostowski's resignation.

Even the minister's coalition colleague Janusz Piechociński, from the Polish Peoples' Party (PSL), said Mr Rostowski should “temper his emotional language.”

Prime Minister Donald Tusk, meanwhile, defended his minister stoutly, saying “if there are no quick decisions and quick actions, then we are really headed in a dangerous direction … please treat Mr Rostowski's words as a dramatic warning towards all those euro zone politicians who for many, many months, instead of taking decisions, have remained in a state of inertia,” Mr Tusk said.

From Warsaw Business Journal by Remi Adekoya

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