Polish economy is safe

Grzegorz Nawacki
15-04-2010, 16:13

The country and the economy are stable. The rebuilding of the political scene is the only, and indirect, influence of the catastrophe on business.

We are going to go through a short and peaceful election campaign, after which PO will gain full power – the experts estimate.

Saturday’s tragedy will not affect the economy – the experts claim.

– It is a great loss for the military potential, but it will have little effect on economic issues. I see no reason for a nervous reaction of the investors and I do not expect fluctuation in the share, bond or foreign exchange market. Apart from Slawomir Skrzypek, the governor of the NBP, the people who died, were not directly connected to economy, and the Central Bank is not in the moment of making key decisions, which could not be taken or which could be resolved differently due to the absence of Mr. Skrzypek. There is no reason to raise or to lower the interest rates in the nearest future – says Krzysztof Stupnicki, the chairman of Amplico TFI.

An efficient mechanism
None of our interlocutors is worried about the future of Polish economy. In the catastrophe, no key for the economy figures were killed, except for the governor Skrzypek.

– It is a great tragedy in political terms, but it is not the same from the economic point of view. I cannot see any negative influence on Zloty or on the share market. There should also be no anxiety, because politicians are maintaining high standards – says Mariusz Staniszewski, the chairman of Noble Funds TFI.

– For the financial market it will only have a temporary importance, just as for the country. The most important from the point of view of the market is who will become the new governor of the National Bank of Poland, and who will at the same time be the leader of the Monetary Policy Council. I hope that the authorities will quickly resolve this issue – says Grzegorz Chlopek, vice-president of ING PTE.
It is the election of the successor of Slawomir Skrzypek that is the main concern of all the experts at the moment.

“Appointing a successor of tragically dead Slawomir Skrzypek will be a test of the willingness of Platforma Obywatelska to maintain an independent Central Bank” – writes the Wall Street Journal on its website.

“If the market starts to doubt the independence of the Central Bank, it may weaken Polish debt and currency” – claims Marcin Mrowiec, the leading economist of Pekao, quoted in the article.

Experts assure us that despite a great loss Poland is not faced with a threat of a paralysis.

– I do not think that the economy will be in any way affected by the tragedy in Smolensk. The country as a structure over the last 20 years has hammered out a clear mechanism of an efficient transfer of the power and competence. Therefore, I do not expect any problems where the economy and administration meet – says Dariusz Filar, the UW economist, a former member of RPP.

The assertions as to the stability of Poland have reached foreign investors.

– Even though the event is tragic, I do not think it will negatively affect in a fundamental way the political and financial stability of Poland. Therefore, we are not expecting big fluctuation on the market on Monday morning – Magdalena Polan, the economist of Goldman Sachs told the Reuters Agency.

The rebuilding of the political scene
It does not mean that Saturday’s catastrophe will not echo in the economy. The presidential election will take place in June, and not in the autumn.

– Placidly analysing the influence of an early presidential election on economy, we can even consider it to be positive. The election campaign will last shorter, and – I hope – will be lead will more solemnity. We can, therefore, hope what we will avoid the political wheeling and dealing as well as unfavourable for the public finances promises. Still before the catastrophe we had signals of dropping the arguments over the economic policy. On Friday the NBP intervention on the foreign exchange market was carried out in agreement among the bank’s management board, the Monetary Policy Council and the Ministry of Finance – says Dariusz Filar.

It is not known if, and who, will be the candidates proposed for the election by the left wing and by Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc. The places of the dead deputies will be filled with people who are next in line. However, there are speculations that also the election to the parliament can take place earlier.

– The result of the presidential election has less influence on the economy than the result of the election to the parliament. If it came to the election to the Seym as well, there would be a greater uncertainty as to the future of the economy – adds Sebastian Buczek, the chairmen of Quercus TFI.

Even though the president does not directly influence the economy, the result of the election will be important for it.

– Even before the catastrophe it appeared that Bronislaw Komorowski would win the presidential election; now it seems to be obvious. Platforma will also decide who will be the successor of governor Skrzypek, which will change the distribution of power in the Monetary Policy Council. Full power will be, therefore, in the hands of the party which is referred to as a pro-market one, which is beneficial for the economy – says Mariusz Staniszewski.

It will be a new era on the political scene.     

– The situation on the political scene will probably change to a great extent. Platforma – with their own president and in the absence of many leading politicians of the opposition – takes over the power. The question is what they will do with that power. On one hand, they will be able to carry out the economic reforms they have promised. However, the situation is not unambiguous, as after the president’s death the coalition will have to be tactful in implementing their ideas – says Maja Goettig, the leading economist of BPH Bank.
 
   

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