Closer to euro

Aleksandra Fandrejewska

In the coming days the government will present a serious programme to facilitate conditions for business - announced Donald Tusk in Krynica

The objective of his cabinet is also the introduction of Poland to the Euro zone in 2011. Such statements made by Prime Minister Donald Tusk were heard by participants of the plenary session, opening the XVIII Economic Forum. The government's head admitted that the aim of his cabinet is to introduce Poland to the Eurozone in 2011. - It will be a difficult, but feasible project - he said.

He also announced that in the next few days he will present further changes to regulations, which are intended to reduce bureaucracy in Poland and support business activity. - Europe and the world are in a game of economic potentials. It is a game based on trust, which must go beyond bad experiences of the regions. Every other game makes us helpless and that is why we should not play such games. Politics is not about who will defeat whom - emphasized Tusk.

Therefore the prime minister admitted that he is glad from the presence of Andrei Kobiakov, Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus. - I would like to inform unofficially that Poland as the first one proposed to lift sanctions imposed on Belarus - he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Kobiakov admitted that for Belarus - "not a neighbour of Europe, but a European neighbour" - important are economic contacts with the Russian Federation and the EU. According to him, the main issue for the Belarusian economy is lack of investments, and not budget issues. - During the five years we increased fifteen times exports from the EU and five times imports. But at that time many experts from the World Bank, or other international institutions, arrived to us and criticized us - said Kobiakov. He reminded us that within the next 3 years more than 500 companies are planned for privatization in Belarus. - We are not doing it in order to improve public finances. We simply need investments - he added. Former Prime Minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki emphasized changes appearing in economic geopolitics: still 20-30 years ago the United States was a superpower, and now we can see the increased role of Asian countries. - Einstein said that development and life is like riding a bicycle - we must keep on pedalling. And we also need to be continuously faster and faster - said the president of Pekao SA.

A big absent of the opening debate of the Forum was Vladimir Putin, who was described by a member of the British House of Commons Denis MacShane as someone, who wants to rule like Stalin, but with the methods of Abramowicz: - We must tell our friends in Russia that we must all apply European standards - thinks MacShane.

Wolfgang Clement, a former German Minister of Economy and Technology admitted that for him the biggest challenge are the issues common for the whole European Union: global warming, demographic issues and great numbers of well-trained employees from Asia. - We must solve our issues in such a way that the next generations will not live in a worse EU than we do. Denis MacShane, half seriously added: - I would like to thank you for showing us how to quickly reduce the deficit of public finances. I would also like to thank you for sending to the so many entrepreneurial and dynamic young persons to the United Kingdom, who have certainly helped our economic growth.

At the end of the opening session Zygmunt Berychowski, on behalf of the Programme's Council of the Economic Forum, handed an award to Donald Tusk for the Man of the Year in both Central and Eastern Europe. - The Council recognized that the greatest political and economic event last year were parliamentary elections- justified the award Berdychowski.

The other three awards were received by: energy concern CEZ, as the best company of the year in terms of operations and management in the region and the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, as a non-governmental organization, which as the only one in the region has offered so extensive programmes of cooperation and assistance for Russia, Ukraine and Kirghizia. The fourth laureate with the title of New Culture of New Europe was Emil Brix from Austria.



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