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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » January 7, 2009
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From the NEWS editor
January 7, 2009   
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Making predictions for 2009 is a risky business. The latest economic crisis, which began in the United States last year and has by now spread across the world, shows that many forecasts may become outdated overnight. But the beginning of the year is traditionally a time when we make forecasts about what will happen in the next 12 months and what trends will dominate in politics and business. And this is precisely what we are doing in this issue of the Voice.

Will the parliamentary alliance that emerged in Poland in late December between the governing coalition and the leftist opposition continue into 2009? It has been clear for a long time that President Lech Kaczyński, the twin brother of Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party, is pursuing a policy whereby he vetoes all bills that PiS opposes. In this parliament, the ruling coalition of the Civic Platform (PO) and the Polish People's Party (PSL) needs support from the left-wing opposition to override the president's vetoes.

PO and PSL politicians are hoping that many milestone laws will take effect thanks to support from the leftists. But Grzegorz Napieralski, leader of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), has vowed to wage a tough battle for political influence-to make sure his party wins higher approval ratings and does better in the next election.

To what extent will Poland manage to resist the global economic crisis and recession? Most experts say the Polish economy is expected to slow this year, but will still grow much faster than the European Union economy as a whole. According to a forecast by the European Commission, although Poland's growth projection for 2009 has been revised down to 3.8 percent, Poland will still be the EU's fourth fastest-growing economy, after Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.
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