The leader of the opposition party Civic Platform, Grzegorz Schetyna, has called for a national debate on the adoption of the Euro currency. Speaking to Reuters, Schetyna explained that Poland needs time to “conduct an open debate on the Euro”.
He went on to explain that if his party was to have a parliamentary majority to adopt the Euro, following the national elections later this year, then “simultaneously there has to be a debate, we need to convince people”.
Note the use of the terms simultaneously and convince. Call me a cynic, but it sounds like Schetyna intends to introduce the Euro and tell the voters what he’s doing is the right thing to do, rather than engage in constructive discussion about it. Opinion polls currently show almost 60% of the Polish public would rather keep the zloty currency, but a win for the Civic Platform later this year could see attempts made to slash that majority and convince the people that the single currency will be a good idea for Poland.
But Poland is doing just fine without the single currency. In fact, Poland’s thriving. The European Bank for Reconstruction and development has raised the growth forecast for Poland’s GDP for 2019 to 4.1%, up from 3.6%. A further growth of 3.5% is expected for 2020.
Attempting to convince the Polish people that the single currency is a good idea will be an uphill struggle. The Eurozone has not been a universal success, and deprives nations of the ability to adapt to their own internal market situations. During the 2008 crash, Spanish lawmakers were unable to make the Euro cheaper to counteract the effect of the debt crisis and failure of the property market. Unemployment rose and peaked at 26.3% in 2013. Today, it’s 13.9%. In Poland, it’s just 3.5%.
Schetyna’s ideas will be put to the test in just a couple of weeks, when voters go to the polls to decide a fresh new intake of Members of European Parliament. The Civic Platform and European Alliance will be looking to take seats from the ruling party.