Wysłany: Pią Cze 20, 2008 10:29 pm Temat postu: The Economist o Tusku
LOOKING NICE BUT DOING NOTHING
Jun 19th 2008
Is one of the best governments in Poland's history good enough?
A PREDECESSOR which outsiders regarded as rude, silly and incompetent
is always a bonus. But the Polish government headed by Donald Tusk has
two other big advantages: a booming economy and a lack of serious
opposition. So despite its rather scanty record, the ruling coalition
is popular at home and abroad.
Mr Tusk's Civic Platform party defeated its centre-right rival, Law and
Justice, in a tight election last October. The outgoing prime minister,
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, led a government bent on destroying the cosy deals
between business and bureaucracy that took root in Poland after the
collapse of communism in 1989. But it became preoccupied by bizarre
intrigues over intelligence. It was spectacularly incompetent in
foreign policy, picking pointless fights with Germany. Its efforts to
fight corruption and reform the judicial system led to abuses of power,
not cleaner government. It failed to reform public services or
modernise creaking infrastructure.
It is not hard for Mr Tusk's government to look good in contrast. It
has done best in foreign policy, thanks largely to a competent foreign
minister, Radek Sikorski. Shifting from his hawkish anti-Kremlin past,
he has charmed both Russia and Germany. He has forged a strong alliance
with Poland's northern neighbour, Sweden, launching a joint plan for a
new eastern partnership for the European Union.
Mr Sikorski has also been playing high-stakes poker with America,
demanding money for military modernisation, and high-tech defences for
Warsaw, in return for hosting a missile-defence base. Some in
Washington think that having such a vital base on Polish soil should be
honour enough. If Poland can strike a deal with Condoleezza Rice,
America's secretary of state, when she visits Warsaw shortly, Mr
Sikorski will be riding high. Some call him a future president. His
bargaining position is strong: missile defence is unpopular with
voters. Lithuania is eager to step into the breach if the Poles refuse
the base, but Poland is the Americans' first choice.
The government's other success is a parliamentary commission to promote
deregulation. Every Polish government has tried to scrape clean a
barnacled bureaucracy, with a signal lack of success. Mr Tusk's
brainwave was to hand the issue not to a special ministry (easily
nobbled by Poland's change-resistant civil servants) but to lawmakers.
Headed by the exuberant Janusz Palikot, the commission launched a
public competition to identify the stupidest rules--eg, the requirement
that most businesses handling cash must keep receipts in paper form for
five years. As these are printed on thermal paper, they fade unless
kept cold. That, and other sillinesses, should go next year. It is a
small start, but hugely welcome.
On other fronts, the government's record is weaker. It nibbles at
problems, sometimes usefully, more often ineffectually. It exudes an
atmosphere of mild chaos, coupled with an unhealthy appetite for the
spoils of power. Mr Tusk is charming and decent but not decisive. He
has yet to be tested by a big crisis.
To be fair, the government faces one huge constraint: Law and Justice's
Lech Kaczynski, twin brother of the former prime minister, who will be
president until 2010. The opposition has enough votes to deprive the
government of the majority it needs to override a presidential veto.
One of Mr Tusk's aims seems to be to win the presidency later, rather
than take any bold action in government now.
That may be politically astute, but it risks wasting valuable time. The
congested and clapped-out road and rail networks cause problems not
only for Poland but also for its neighbours. A combination of
obsolescent power stations and tough EU rules on carbon emissions
threatens huge rises in the cost of electricity. In 2012 Poland will
co-host the next Euro football tournament with Ukraine, requiring huge
investment in new roads and stadiums, which are badly behind schedule.
Wasteful public spending subsidises an army of bogus welfare claimants.
The economic outlook is less bright than it was. The sun is shining
today, but such problems seem sure to cloud Mr Tusk's future.
Wygląda to prawie na przedruk z GW. Okropne bzdury. Peany na temat Sikorskiego. Ten Palikot walczący z niedorzecznościami typu archiwa na termicznym papierze (wielki problem gospodarki ) jest chyba wystarczająco groteskowy. Economist - To wstyd. Tytul dobry, ale reszta jakby z innej bajki.
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