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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland unveils EUR 47 bn stimulus plan to cushion coronavirus crisis

18.03.2020 15:30
Poland’s authorities on Wednesday unveiled a EUR 47 billion stimulus package to shore up the economy and shield the country from the impact of an intensifying coronavirus outbreak.
Audio
  • Poland unveils EUR 47 bn stimulus plan to cushion coronavirus crisis: audio report
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Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters that the government’s “Anti-Crisis Shield” would deliver a massive injection of funds from state coffers in order to protect jobs, help the country’s entrepreneurs and maintain the liquidity of businesses hit by the coronavirus.

Morawiecki said the total value of his government’s anti-crisis package, which also seeks to guarantee the security of the country’s financial system, would come to PLN 212 billion (EUR 47 billion, USD 52 billion).

Economists said that figure was equivalent to roughly 10 percent of Poland’s gross domestic product.

The government’s proposed Economic and Social Anti-Crisis Shield also provides for injecting an extra PLN 7.5 billion into the country’s healthcare service to help it fight the coronavirus epidemic, Morawiecki said.

He told reporters that the plan to protect the labour market and support businesspeople included payment of wages and benefits to those unable to work.

Also available will be loan guarantees, debt repayment holidays and deferments in social insurance contributions, Morawiecki said.

He announced the new measures at a joint news conference with President Andrzej Duda following a special teleconference with government ministers.

Overall, the planned stimulus package carries PLN 30 billion in funds for employee security programmes, PLN 73.2 billion for enterprise financing, PLN 7.5 billion for healthcare, PLN 70.3 billion to strengthen the financial system, and PLN 30 billion for public investment, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

The Polish Bank Association (PZB) said on Monday that banks were ready to defer loan payments for borrowers for at least three months.

That plan was announced following talks last week with Duda and Poland’s central banker Adam Glapiński.

The Polish central bank said on Tuesday it was cutting its key interest rates in a bid to counteract the impact of the coronavirus.

Poland has declared a state of "epidemic emergency" and temporarily closed its borders to non-residents on Sunday as part of efforts to curb the spread of the Covid-19 disease.

A total of 251 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Poland, with five deaths from the illness so far, the health ministry said on Wednesday. 

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP, TVP Info

Click on the audio icon above to listen to a report by Radio Poland's Agnieszka Bielawska.