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Poland catches the austerity bug

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Poland catches the austerity bug


Austerity is now a catchword in euro zone nations, but it is also spreading fast to other countries.

The newly reelected government of Donald Tusk in Poland is pledging to raise the retirement age and cut tax and pension privileges for certain groups.

He says he wants to reduce Poland’s debt and shield the nation from the deepening crisis in the euro zone.

Tusk said: “As of 2013 we will gradually raise the retirement age to 67 and bring the retirement age for women in line with that for men. We will try to do it softly but it will be painful I am afraid.”

But is an austerity package really necessary now in Poland? euronews spoke to a Polish expert in Brussels, Piotr Maciej Kaczyński, from the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS).

He said: “This is the central problem of the Polish dilemma: it’s outside of the euro zone and it wants to be in the centre of European integration. It’s not something that can be easily overcome. The only way to overcome this dilemma, to be in the centre of European integration, and the Prime Minister has given an answer to it, is to have a strong state.”

Poland is said to be the only member of the 27-nation European Union that escaped recession, achieving more than 15 percent of growth over the past three years.

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