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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » November 26, 2008
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From the NEWS editor
November 26, 2008   
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It has been a year since the Civic Platform (PO) of Donald Tusk removed the Law and Justice (PiS) of Jarosław Kaczyński from power following victory in the parliamentary elections. PO formed a new coalition with the Polish Peasants' Party (PSL) headed by Waldemar Pawlak and a new government was sworn in. So began a period of cohabitation during which Poland has been governed by the coalition cabinet and President Lech Kaczyński, who still has strong ties to PiS, the party chaired by his twin brother.

The past 12 months have seen underhand tactics used by both the government and the president. Prime Minister Tusk says this situation has made it difficult or even impossible for PO to keep a lot of its election promises. According to the opposition, the failure to keep promises exposes the incompetence of the government and the prime minister.

Polish consumers are unimpressed by the financial crisis raging around the world. The Warsaw Stock Exchange has taken a bad hit and the Polish currency has taken a dive against the euro and the dollar. And yet Polish citizens appear abnormally optimistic, at least as far as splashing out in the shops is concerned. Many travel agencies have long run out of attractive New Year's Eve trips to offer, expensive cars are selling like hot cakes so that getting a new one can take weeks, while even the most expensive plasma TV screen or computer is not going to gather dust in large electronics stores. From the point of view of economic forecasts, this attitude from consumers is irrational. Is it that people are blindly optimistic about their financial situation, or do they want to buy as much as they can before they have to tighten the purse strings, hoping they will somehow make ends meet?
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