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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » July 1, 2009
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From the News Editor
July 1, 2009   
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Prime Minister Donald Tusk said ahead of the June 7 European Parliament elections that if his Civic Platform (PO) won and managed to secure a large number of deputies' seats in Brussels, he "personally guaranteed" the post of European Parliament president for Jerzy Buzek.

It is hardly surprising then that the diplomatic efforts to secure the job for Buzek, Poland's prime minister 1997-2001, has been top of the political agenda in Poland in recent weeks. Buzek, for his part, did not let his supporters down and scored the best result in the Polish elections for the European Parliament for the second time running. Now, he has to win one more vote. It will be taken on July 7 by the largest group in the European parliament-the european People's Party (EPP), of which the PO and its junior partner in Poland's governing coalition, the Polish People's Party (PSL), are members. Buzek's rival for the post is Italian deputy Mario Mauro. Tusk and other PO politicians say Buzek is safely ahead in the race for the high-profile Brussels job as he is reportedly supported by two-thirds, and perhaps even three-quarters, of EPP members as well as many EU deputies from other groups. It will soon become clear whether the prestigious post will indeed for the first time go to a candidate from a new EU member state.

The Polish government has said the 2010 budget is one of the most difficult since the fall of communism in 1989. In a situation when the most severe economic crisis in decades has created uncertainty on global markets and badly hit euro-zone countries, which are Poland's main trading partners, the government has been forced to come up with a cautious projection of economic growth. The government forecasts that Poland's GDP will grow a mere 0.5 percent next year. But most Polish business organizations believe that this forecast is highly conservative and pessimistic and that it assumes the crisis will peak next year rather than this year. The International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the European Commission predict that the Polish economy will grow by 1-2 percent next year, performing better than projected by the Polish government in its guidelines for the 2010 budget bill.
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