Poland must be fully prepared for safe euro-zone entry – PM
February 20, 2013
Prime Minister Donald Tusk
Poland should adopt the euro as soon as possible but will make the move only when “it is 100 percent ready”, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Tuesday in kicking off a euro adoption debate in the Polish Parliament.
"We will proceed as best as we can to have Poland fulfill the member requirements as fast as possible," Tusk said. A decision to take up the euro, in turn, must be calm, safe and built on a necessary domestic consensus, he added.
The 17-nation euro area needs to resolve internal problems and Poland, a country of 38 million, must be fully prepared before it scraps the zloty in favor of Europe’s single currency, Tusk said.
“Our road to the euro area should be clear-cut and the decision must be 100 percent safe for Poland,” Tusk said. "The decision should come when the euro zone will be ready for it . . . but especially when Poland will be 100% ready for a safe euro-zone entry," Tusk said.
Tusk positioned his government and his party in the middle-ground of the pending euro debate. To Poland's right, PM called for giving up euro-skepticism and joining the debate "without fear or concern that something has threatened Poland's sovereignty."
"Like it or not, . . . the euro is the axis and core of the changing European community" and Poland must decide to be at the table or on the menu," Tusk said.
Speaking for the main opposition conservative party Law and Justice (PiS), MP Krzysztof Szczerski said that his party was against PM's plans concerning the euro adoption by Poland. He added that preparations for euro zone entry could not be started before the current constitution was amended.
"Entering the path of preparations for euro adoption has to be preceded by a change of the Constitution, which we won't allow" and that "a potential decision about abandoning the zloty has to be made through a separate referendum."
The Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) leader Leszek Miller said that Poland had to join the euro zone. "Poland cannot stay outside the club as in such situation it would simply be a peripheral country," Miller said.
Tusk also appealed to the left asking them to “give up a mad-rush mentality”. "Feverish attempts to enter the euro-zone now" . . . such a rush "seems unnecessary and could be harmful for the calm, consistent construction of Polish potential that will give us a safe euro-zone entry," Tusk said.
Prime Minister Tusk will take his ministers to the Presidential chancellery on February 26 to discuss actions Poland should take to meet the euro adoption criteria.