|Mr Rostowski expects 2012 and 2013 to be "tough"|
Courtesy of the European Parliament
Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski has said there is “every reason to believe” that the years 2014-2015 will be better for Europe and should usher in a “significant rebound” for the Polish economy. The finance minister made the comments at an economic debate organized by the opposition Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) party.
“We will have a tough 2012 and a tough 2013, with a significant slowdown, we are aware of this,” said Mr Rostowski before making his more optimistic forecast for the subsequent years.
However, economists say a lot depends on how the word “significant” is defined in this context, and how the global economic crisis plays out.
Witold Or³owski, chief economic advisor at PwC, who was also at the debate, said it is “unlikely that Polish GDP growth will return to 5-7 percent if Western Europe does not solve its problems.”
Mr Or³owski, who also serves on the economic council which advises Prime Minister Donald Tusk, said the way Poland is handling economic problems during the crisis is a “miracle.”
He also said that Poland, paradoxically, had done more catching up with the West in the recent years of crisis than during any other period in its post-communist history. “We have been developing slowly while they have regressed,” he said.
Mr Or³owski sees four major issues that need urgent reform in Poland: public services like education and health-care, public administration and the justice system, Poland’s business climate and a rethink of the country’s role in Europe.
Meanwhile, SLD leader Leszek Miller, who hosted the debate, was categorical on where his party stands regarding the economy. “No to democracy in accordance with the market, yes to the market in accordance with democracy,” said the SLD leader during the debate.
Mr Miller said it was important to find a “new compromise between the rationality of the markets and the rationality of societies which are finding it increasingly difficult to accept the constant belt-tightening.”
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