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.
We are reducing the deficit because financial markets are very sensitive to its level, but we are not joining the euro area. Accordingly, we are losing the “umbrella” of the ECB, a chance for the economy to operate in the exchange rate-free environment and reduce borrowing costs for the government sector, business and households. This situation is bizarre — says Rafał Antczak, a Board Member of Deloitte.
As far as the changes in pension system are concerned, we may learn the most from the Czechs and Slovaks. Surely, we should make every effort in order to prevent the government from nationalizing funds gathered in the second pillar. Let’s hope Warsaw will not become another Budapest, says Mateusz Guzikowski, Civil Development Forum (FOR) economist.
“The era of optimism dies in the crisis, but in dying it gives birth to an era of pessimism. This new era is born, not an infant, but a giant”. Both optimism and pessimism underpin the fluctuations of business cycles. This is what Wesley Mitchell, the father of research on business cycle wrote in 1927. Almost a century later, little has changed, which also applies to our country.
When Wayne D. Angell, who passed for the one of the Fed’s most vigorous inflation fighters, left the Fed in 1994, one of the American newspapers commented on his resignation – Angell leaves, the demon of inflation arrives. However, concerns that inflation would rise were not confirmed. In Poland, it may also be difficult to tell who is a true “hawk” and who is a “dove”.
The collapse of Amber Gold has generated a number of calls for liquidating parabanks or bringing them, on a mandatory basis, within the scope of oversight. However, identifying financial institutions that are not subject to supervision exercised by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) with pyramid schemes is a major simplification.