President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki were speaking at a joint news conference in Warsaw on Thursday after the European Union’s executive a day earlier unveiled a EUR 750 billion proposal to prop up economies battered by the coronavirus.
Duda told the media that the disruption triggered by the virus across the EU was “comparable to the worst crises that have hit the world so far.”
He added that Europe needed big-ticket investment projects to gain "a fresh impetus for development."
He also argued that the continent should again become a "big manufacturing workshop" and scrap a policy of moving production to Asia and other parts of the world with lower costs because this causes supply chains to break and leads to shortages of products at a critical time.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the recovery plan proposed by the European Commission on Wednesday, combined with the bloc’s new long-term budget, would lend "a major financial stimulus” and create an “unprecedented prospect” for growth throughout Europe, including Poland.
Morawiecki also said that Europe must "reinvent itself" after the coronavirus crisis and “bring back … all those industries, those business sectors, that have been outsourced abroad for various reasons, sometimes very far away.”
Morawiecki added that Poland would spend funds available under the EU recovery plan to build new roads, rail lines and carry out other infrastructure projects to spur its economy.
The new recovery fund, dubbed "Next Generation EU," includes EUR 500 billion in grants and EUR 250 billion in loans for member states, with the money borrowed on financial markets and repaid from the bloc's budget.
Amid the pandemic, Poland stands to receive more than EUR 63 billion from EU coffers in grants and loans under the plan.
Morawiecki has previously said that the EU executive’s proposal, under which Poland is expected to receive the third-highest amount in the bloc, after Italy and Spain, is “proof that Poland’s voice is heard, taken into account and appreciated in Europe.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that the new recovery plan “turns the immense challenge we face into an opportunity, not only by supporting the recovery but also by investing in our future."
The Polish prime minister last month called for a “new Marshall Plan” for Europe to aid the continent’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
Source: IAR, PAP