A pre-election wave of purges in state-run companies

17-09-2007, 07:09

Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) - The Minister of Treasury sweeps clean. Just before the Sejm matters are to be settled.

One does not change horses while the race is on. This rule, however, does not apply to the state-run companies. 95 per cent of the executive boards suffered due to the purges. It is time for the remaining ones.
 
In the Thursday isssue of PB we informed that Filip Grzegorczyk from Law and Justice (PiS) was trying to dismiss Jan Krup, the President of the Southern Poland Power Company (PKE). Despite the Sunday picket in front the PKE's seat, Kurp was finally dismissed. However, he is not the only one. Last week Tadeusz Zakrzewski, the head of Naftport, was axed. Earlier, in June, Stanisław Stachowicz, the  president of the Bogdanka Mine lost his post. Also Pawel Olechnowicz, the head of Lotos in Gdansk who is not fond of the merger with Orlen, cannot be sure about his future.
According to Andrzej Sadkowski from Adam Smith Centre the situation in the management of state-owned companies shows the disastrous influence of politics on economy.
"Politicians treat economy as a part of a loot system. That is why for the last 18 years none of the governments has been able to complete the privatization and solve the issue", he says.
"The peculiar thing about Poland is the fact that the state-run companies' employees strike for the sake of privatization. They know that politics brings to their companies nothing but harm", adds Sadkowski.
Another expert, Bohdan Wyżnikiewicz, argues that frequent changes in the top management are very negative as the companies need stability and experienced leaders in order to function properly.
In opinion of Marek Goliszewski, the head of Business Centre Club, the way PiS acts with regard to state-owned companies is nothing new. However, this time it is more striking as PiS used to condemn all the connection-based arrangements and now they replace qualified people with the "faithful" ones.
Other experts such as Lech Pilawski from Lewiatan, the Polish Confederation of Private Employers, and Professor Jan Winiecki also agree that privatization is the only reasonable solution of the problem.
"State-owned companies should become private, but they won't, as for politicians they mean money and influence. As a result we might soon start paying for the companies which may become unprofitable", adds Marek Goliszewski.

© ℗
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