By Marcin Piatkowski and Natasha Kapil, World Bank
Poland is Europe’s growth champion. It has more than doubled its GDP per capita since the beginning of the post-socialist transition in 1989, consistently growing since 1992, and was the only EU economy to avoid a recession in 2009. Poland is a prime example of the success of the European “convergence machine”.
In 2014, the level of income adjusted for purchasing parity exceeded $24,000 and reached almost 65 per cent of the level of income in the euro zone, the highest absolute and relative level since 1500 A.D. Read more
Poland is coming off the biggest construction boom in its thousand-year history and it does have a lot of roads to show for the effort – but there is one stark gap: Poland has not managed to produce any significant construction companies.
That was not the case in Spain, which underwent its own road construction boom that kicked off when it joined the EU in 1986. A new report by conultants Ernst & Young takes a closer look at just what went wrong in Poland compared to the Spanish experience. Read more
Air travellers frustrated at delays in London, Paris and Frankfurt can put their woes in perspective – Warsaw’s suburban Modlin Airport looks like it will be shut for several months, playing havoc with the finances of the low-cost carriers using the new airport.
The reason is that Modlin’s newly-built but already crumbling runway is not fit to accommodate the large airliners that are supposed to land on it. The local building inspector is supposed to issue his verdict by Thursday but indications are that it will be closed until about May. Read more
Poland’s treasury ministry expects to present its programme on using state assets to boost infrastructure investments to the country’s cabinet in the next couple of weeks, which could see the first use of a special investment vehicle in the second quarter of next year. That’s according to Pawel Tamborski, a deputy treasury minister. Read more
For Poland, hosting this year’s European football championships was always much more about cash than sporting glory – and the country’s incompetent national side, which exited the tournament with no wins – showed that was a sensible approach.
Just how sensible has been spelled out by PL.2012, the official tournament organiser, and Jakub Borowski, an economist who prepared a report on the financial outcome of the event, showing that Poland earned more than expected from tourists and gained a long-term economic boost from building infrastructure for the tournament. Read more
The future of central and eastern Europe (CEE) rests on decisions being made beyond its borders, as a special report in Friday’s FT warns. The region relies on the eurozone for trade and investment.
But investors are recognising the fact that countries in CEE dealt with their fiscal problems especially quickly. Credit default swap spreads in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are converging with those in the core eurozone and deleveraging in CEE is more limited than in some west European markets. Read more
The debacle at Warsaw’s National stadium – where a Poland-England match had to be scrubbed on Tuesday night because the brand new ground failed to close its roof despite a deluge of rain – tested the talents of Polish and English Facebook and Twitter jokers.
The most popular photo shared online seemed to be a black-and-white one of men in flippers trying to kick a ball, but the football fiasco points to a deeper problem with Polish infrastructure. Read more
As the Euro 2012 European football championship kicks off this weekend, it’s anyone’s guess which team will walk away with the cup.
But the two nations which are co-hosting the tournament hope to win out economically. Despite a recent beating of bad press in the run up to the games over racism and other domestic issues – not least being the alleged political persecution of Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko – Ukraine and Poland are already counting how much their economies will gain from massive infrastructure overhauls and tourists dollars. Read more
Drive through any village in Poland, and the changes over the last 20 years are striking – proper roads with no potholes, sidewalks stretching into the distance along country lanes, and repainted government offices.
But efforts to continue modernising the countryside are likely to fall afoul of tighter local budget rules and the depletion of EU structural funds flowing into the country. Read more