Today, as I am writing this piece, I’m undoubtedly setting the cat among the pigeos and I’m looking forward to see the maddened pigeons to advance. Let them even attack me, personally. By setting the aforementioned cat among the pigeons I’m hereby declaring: let the nationalists parade and let the Law and Justice (PiS) party support them.
Huge levels of state ownership in the Polish economy negatively affects its productivity and growth prospects. Although the employment share of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in total employment of the Polish economy might seem limited (about 5%), their share among the largest, most important companies is much more significant.
In finance and development, Law and Justice has also set a controversial goal of boosting state control over the economy. One of the main obstacles for Poland’s development – based on the government’s Plan for Responsible Development – is a lack of balance between foreign and domestic capital.
The Law and Justice Party (PiS) has been using state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to push for changes in the justice system that are detrimental to rule of law, economic growth, and civil liberties. At the same time, SOEs saved the Polish Mining Group (PGG) from bankruptcy.
Lowering the retirement age is contrary to the plan of Mateusz Morawiecki, Minister of Economy, which rightly linked in one of the documents the decline in working-age population with a slowdown in economic growth. It will put a drag on catching up with the Western Europe’s living standards.
There are liberal democratic parties such as moderately conservative Civic Platform (formerly led by Donald Tusk) or liberal Nowoczesna. They can base their voter’s value proposition on individualism yet their resources are far from Kaczynski’s party. There are other players, too.
We sometimes hear that the only type of liberalism we need today is “political liberalism” while classical liberal ideas in the economy can be neglected. The view that we need only political freedom, without a broad range of economic freedoms, is not isolated and requires a response.
On the whole, CEE countries – including Poland – still positively stand out in this respect among its European peers. Yet, this might soon come to an end as Poland’s governing party (LAw and Justice) is planning to introduce significant restrictions on Sunday trade.
We need to have in mind that democracy is not a given; it is susceptible and fragile. Many societies of the European countries (and the US too) confirm the thesis that democracy is in crisis and the elite are desperately looking for the cure. How to stop populism and the threat of authoritarianism in Europe (and elsewhere)?
French President Emmanuel Macron has embarked on a mission to Central and Eastern Europe with a strange idea. He lobbies for a directive to shorten the stay and to increase the salaries of our posted workers, from the minimum wage level, to salaries equal up to the level of French or German employees in the sector.