December 19, 2013
Parliament Adopts 2014 Budget
Poland’s lower house of parliament Dec. 13 adopted the budget for 2014, with the deficit set at zl.47.6 billion, GDP expected to grow 2.5 percent and average annual inflation forecast at 2.4 percent.
The government expects revenue to come in at zl.276.9 billion, while spending is planned at a maximum of zl.324.6 billion.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk told journalists that he expected the economy to grow more than the 2.5 percent envisaged in the budget.
“This is a difficult budget,” Tusk said. “Poland is still a country that must make savings” in terms of expenditure amid pressure from the EU to lower the budget deficit.
“On the other hand, we want to promote development,” he added.
Newly-appointed Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek said that Poland was still at risk from a potential deterioration in the economy of the EU as a whole in 2014 and 2015. But the risk “is not significant enough” to warrant fears that the budget will need to be amended, he added.
Faced with lower-than-expected revenues, the government had to amend its 2013 budget, hiking the initially planned deficit of zl.35.6 billion by zl.16 billion.
Poland Marks Anniversary of Martial Law
Deputies Dec. 13 marked the 32nd anniversary of the imposition of martial law—the 1981 crackdown by Poland’s communist authorities on the country’s Solidarity independent trade union movement.
Deputies adopted a special resolution that paid tribute to the victims of the communist authorities during the martial law period and to “all Poles who were persecuted and suffered for their dreams of a reborn, free and democratic Poland.”
Around 100 people died and thousands were imprisoned during martial law, which was imposed Dec. 13, 1981, and lifted on July 22, 1983.