Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Kazimierz who?

Official General Election Results: Law and Justice 155 seats…Civic Platform 133…Self Defense 56…SLD 55…League of Polish Families 34…PSL 25…
Why pick an obscure economist who virtually nobody has heard of before to be Poland’s new Prime Minister?

A least no one can say that Polish politics is predictable. First we get the surprise win of the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) – the largest grouping in the Sejm, the Polish parliament, after Sunday’s elections. Now we get a new PM that maybe only his wife, kids and close friends are entirely familiar with.

Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz is a mathematics and physics graduate, who has been linked with Catholic conservatives since the start of his parliamentary career 12 years ago. In the outgoing parliament he headed the treasury commission, which oversees privitisation policy. He is said to belong to the market-oriented wing of Law and Justice.

He's considered to be the author of his party's economic agenda - which is no great compliment as many have noticed that PiS don’t actually appear to have a clear economic policy.

It was assumed after the results were announced that the leader of PiS, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, would be PM, as he is the head of the largest party in the new parliament. The problem was that his twin brother, Lech, is in the race for the presidential palace in October. Many voters have told pollsters and focus groups that they do not want to see twins in both top jobs in Poland.

So it seems that Marcinkiewicz is being a ‘stopgap’ Premier until the results of the presidential elections are known. At the moment, it appears that the favourite for that post is Civic Plaform’s Donald Tusk, who would win a head-to-head contest with Lech Kaczynski by a 57-43 ratio.

Watch this space…

Read on:
Poland's centre-right coalition nominates Prime Minister, Euronews (video), September 28


Rythin said...

Not true, I have known this man for years and am pretty familiar with his career. If he stays as a PM, I am sure he will make his job.

Gustav said...

Why nominate an unknown? Because it pacifies the electorate into thinking they won't have twin brothers running the country.

On Marcinkiewicz and PiS' economic plans:

WBJ, May 9

The party now favored to win parliamentary elections wants to make Poland a "cheap state," and has outlined an ambitious economic plan that it believes could pull GDP growth up to seven percent per year.

Law and Justice (PiS), the current leader in both the parliamentary and presidential polls, has outlined its economic plan which, if realized, could save the Treasury billions, eliminate state involvement in over a thousand companies, and make setting up a business in Poland possible in just three days.

Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, PiS' economic point-man and current leader of the Parliamentary Treasury Commission, told the Polish-Swiss Chamber of Commerce that his party's "Cheap State" program would generate savings totaling zł.6 billion per annum. "We are going to liquidate the majority of non-budgetary agencies and funds," he said. Among the agencies set to be axed is the Agency of Agricultural Properties of the State, which was set up in the 1990s to manage the privatization of state-owned farms. Though there are no such farms left, the agency still exists.

A spree of privatizations will add to the savings should the plan become reality. PiS wants to reorganize state-owned firms into those that are 100-, 50- and 25-percent owned by the Treasury. "All other companies shall be fully privatized," said Marcinkiewicz. "We are going to absolutely withdraw from the current solution whereby the State Treasury has very minor shareholdings in companies that are already operating as fully privatized. That involves around 600 companies. Plus, we are going to fully privatize around 500 state-owned enterprises who today are state controlled and are operating under very weird principles."

While Marcinkiewicz's words were a breath of fresh air for citizens yearning for more fiscal responsibility, his party's plans for encouraging investment offer much-needed relief to Poland's embattled entrepreneurs.

"We would like for a businessperson to be able to deal with everything concerning company opening and registration at a single location - a one-stop shop - and we would like that process not to exceed three days." In addition, the plan envisions exempting new companies from ZUS payments for the first two years of their existence, and introduces fixed time limits within which business courts would be required to deliver their decisions. The plan would also eliminate the dreaded business-inspectorate offices.

"Any of the inspectorate offices can walk into any company in Poland at any given time of day and that is a very good recipe for disaster," he said.

It's not perfect, but it's better than what we got now, no?

Gustav said...

PS - thanks for the plug on PolBlog!

I noticed the title of your blog is spelled "beat" rather than "beet". Is that a reference to music? The Beat Generation? The beatific perhaps?