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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » April 29, 2009
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From the NEWS editor
April 29, 2009   
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Over the past few months, the Polish public has watched mortified as President Lech Kaczyński and Prime Minister Donald Tusk have repeatedly clashed in a public power struggle over foreign policy.

Some of the most embarrassing episodes of this unedifying spectacle centered on EU summits. The two men squabbled over everything from who should use the official government plane, bills for chartered flights and the number of chairs available to the Polish delegation in assembly halls, to the order of giving speeches and even on protocol for holding press conferences. Even though diplomats from other countries appeared to take all this with a pinch of salt, the series of spats dented Poland’s image abroad. The ruling Civic Platform (PO) party has now drafted a bill to spell out who has exactly which powers in foreign policy. But the chances are that this move won’t change much, because even now experts in constitutional law are pointing out that any limitations on the powers of the president to the benefit of the government may be ruled unconstitutional.

Poland seems to still be fending off the worst effects of the global crisis, at least when it comes to economic growth forecasts. Rating agencies, investment funds and foreign banks conclude in their reports that Poland may be one of only a handful of countries, European countries in particular, that manage to avoid serious recession.

The World Bank predicts Polish GDP will grow by 2 percent this year and adds that out of all the EU member states that joined the bloc in May 2004, Poland is in the best financial shape. Experts from the Bank of America and the Standard & Poor’s agency have voiced a similar opinion. Analysts from the International Monetary Fund are the least optimistic and predict a 0.7 percent contraction in Polish GDP, but add that next year GDP will grow 1.3 percent. Alongside Cyprus and Greece, this is one of the three best forecasts in the entire EU.
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