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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland ready to loosen purse strings as coronavirus bites: gov’t minister

26.03.2020 12:00
Poland’s government is ready to loosen the purse strings to offer more relief to the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, a Cabinet minister has said.
Polands Development Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz.
Poland's Development Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz.Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

The Polish government on Wednesday approved a massive stimulus plan aiming to shield the country from the fallout of the coronavirus crisis.

Development Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz told reporters that the authorities were prepared to expand their "anti-crisis shield" package beyond its initial three-month time frame if the crisis persisted.

“For now, we are all set for three months, but if the situation changes … we are ready to expand the range of assistance” available to businesses and employees, Emilewicz declared.

She added: “We will do as much as we can. We are ready to deliver all kinds of instruments.”

This includes amending the budget and loosening fiscal policy rules, she told reporters.

The European Union, of which Poland is part, has moved to suspend its strict rules on public deficits to enable governments to increase spending amid the coronavirus pandemic, Emilewicz noted.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday that his government’s "anti-crisis shield" was the largest such support package in Polish history and was worth at least 10 percent of the country’s GDP.

The PLN 212 billion (EUR 47 billion, USD 52 billion) relief plan is expected to be debated by parliament on Friday.

The 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 has reported.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP, IAR