Poland is outside of the Eurozone, together with Sweden, Denmark, Czechia and Hungary. Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia joined the EU later and are on their way to the Eurozone, at least this is what one hears…
“Should Poland join the Eurozone?” is not the question on people’s minds this elections. At least, not until Saturday, 13 April, when Law and Justice (PiS) holds its weekly convention. On Saturday we are in Lublin, a region resourceful when it comes to support for PiS.
Jarosław Kaczyński, PiS chairman: “We will adopt the euro one day, because this is our obligation, but we shall do this when it is in our interest. And it will be in our interest when we reach the level of GDP, the level of livelihood, similar to the German one”.
Mateusz Morawiecki, prime minister: “It is not in our interest to adopt the euro, especially today. We want the European salaries, not the European prices. The way to achieve this is to maintain the zloty”.
The ruling party dismisses the experiences of the Euro-accession of countries of similar economic output, Slovakia or Lithuania. “Those are not good experiences”, claims PiS MEP candidate from the region, Elżbieta Kruk, in a right-wing newspaper, Gazeta Polska.
The eurozone accession is a non-issue. Yes, there are occasional voices in favour of the accession, but the eventual accession is not in sight. Then, why? PiS accuses the opposition, the European Coalition, that “it wants to join the Eurozone as fast as possible” and joining the Eurozone is pure evil, or a catastrophe: inflation, hyperinflation, low salaries… blah, blah, blah.
Why? Well, the real issue is the strike. The pro-PiS newspaper, Gazeta Polska today says: “You want more money? Work more!”. Then it covers the strike with news that the teachers are lazy because they work fewer hours than the rest of the EU. I am no expert in education, but I know that the fewer hours of Polish teachers is related to how the system is organised, not how many hours they truly work. Zbigniew Dolata, PiS MP says in Gazeta Polska: “the public knows that the protest broke out when the teachers have received salary increase, and at the same time the public does not support the strike. This means that teachers do not gain in the eyes of public opinion”.
Really? Over the weekend there were dozens of protests like below in Warsaw, in support of teachers. On Wednesday there is scheduled a new protest in solidarity with the teachers, for 15 minutes people working for the public sector will manifest their views. There are 3 million złoty collected over last days for the “Strike Fund“. At best, the society is divided, not against the teachers.
Should Poland join the Euro? There is a legal obligation for it (the Accession Treaty), but there is a Constitutional limit on it, too (the currency emitter is the Polish Central Bank, NBP). So it is a non-issue until there is a constitutional majority in the Sejm for the Euro adoption. Until then, this is a non-issue.
Fake issues, fake news, fake facts. The ruling party is unhappy with the reality so it tries to create its own. Will it succeed?