28.2.11

Poland has almost the worst unemployment rate in EU after Greece and Spain

Poland is losing economically or its economic foundation was not solid? One should know that Polish state's institutions were left unchanged from the final day of the communism. Walls were repainted, new furnitures arrived and even computers here and there appeared in the state's bureaucracy offices. However philosophy of government and what is more important the mentality of the people mirrors socialists' way of thinking. To prove or falsify that claim one can easily check political parties promises during elections and their popularity. There is sentiment for a strong state and deep disbelief in free market. Neo-marxists views are becoming increasingly popular among youth. Academia in its majority leans toward left views. Catholic Church talk about social justice does not help, either.

I agree with Mr Glassman assessment about Poland. I would only add that Poland is politically unstable because it has failed electoral system which promotes the weakest and punish winner. It cannot remain without influence on overall economic condition of the state.


James K. Glassman
Why Poland Matters

On a trip to Poland in 2003, I positively gushed over the nation’s prospects for the future. “Poland truly wants to get on,” I wrote in the Washington Post, “and that’s the first step to actually doing it.”

Aspiration, however, isn’t everything. Poland has certainly done well in the past eight years, but not as well as I had hoped. Currently, the economy is sputtering along with an unemployment rate of 13.1 percent – fourth-worst (after South Africa, Spain, and Greece) among the 43 countries surveyed by the Economist. Unlike its neighbors Hungary and the Czech Republic, not to mention the European continent as a whole, Poland is running a trade deficit, and its budget deficit (at 7.5 percent of GDP) isn’t a pretty picture either.

You are probably asking, “So what?” Or, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “What’s Poland to me, or me to Poland?”

Actually, Poland means a great deal. It stood a chance of teaching tired European economies – and maybe even our own – how to thrive. And I’m not giving up on it. There are problems to address, but they’re not difficult to solve.

To attract the investment it needs, Poland must become a place where businesses are comfortable investing. Some recent incidents are worrisome. The last thing Poland needs is a reputation for a casual attitude toward the rule of law. The country needs to be seen as Singapore, not Russia.

In 2004, after 15 years of negotiation, Poland was admitted to the European Union along with other Eastern European nations that had also thrown off the yoke of communism (Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Slovenia). At the time, again perhaps caught up in the enthusiasm of the moment, I believed that these new E.U. members, as “New Europe,” would help drag “Old Europe,” in Donald Rumsfeld’s felicitous formula, into a more prosperous free-market future, providing a demonstration of the benefits of lower taxes, less onerous regulation, and more flexible labor practices.

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