Many countries, especially European ones, are tormented by the financial crisis that has been evolving since 2007, and the recession developing since the beginning of the year. An attempt to describe this situation using a single keyword is a far-reaching simplification as each of the phenomena gives rise to completely different threats, and consequently requires a different countermeasure.
When adopting last year the act reducing the level of the contribution transferred to Open Pension Funds (OFEs), the government promised another amendment. It was designed to force an increase in competition between the funds, improve their efficiency and reduce management costs. The government failed to keep its promise. This may prove that OFEs are already treated as a temporary solution.
The Government has submitted a draft 2013 budget to the Sejm. With the economic growth planned for 2.2%, revenue is to increase by 2.4% in nominal terms and expenditure by 1.9%, excluding the European funds. Analysis of the figures shows that the Government counts more on the increase in tax revenue rather than on expenditure savings.
The fast pace of technological change means that we are beginning to conceive of computers as capable of doing almost anything, from answering quiz questions to driving a car. Firms need to adapt their business models in order to fully exploit innovation. A natural question arises: what skill set will be required of the workers of the future?
One of the reasons that Poland's economy has managed to survive successive waves of the global economic crisis is that it has a shock absorber in the form of its own currency − which is why support for joining the common currency has waned in recent years both in public opinion and among government leaders.
The European Commission has opened a probe into Gazprom – on suspicion that the Russian energy giant manipulates the prices of fuel and restricts competition. Over the recent months the allegations of monopolist practices have been also pressed against the Polish Oil and Gas Company. Undermining the power of the local dictator is expected to reduce gas bills, which are currently among the highest in Europe.
The announcement of Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s keynote address has spurred the Polish opposition into action. In early September, all opposition parties presented their ideas for the economy. They can hardly be called programmes, as they have the form of more or less haphazard proposals. Their common feature is a disregard for the economic situation in the region and for the declining power of the budget.
At the end of September at the latest, a draft budget for 2013 will be submitted to the Sejm. Due to the economic slowdown, it may be difficult to implement it, but this does not have to be so. The budget has many safes with funds. We have asked Elżbieta Suchocka-Roguska and Halina Wasilewska–Trenkner, authors of many budget drafts, whether it is possible to reach for such funds.