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PM Tusk – Poland must adopt single currency or 'stay on the periphery'

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 14.12.2012 09:07
As EU leaders agree on supervision of eurozone banks, Prime Minister Tusk has said Poland must decide whether it wants adopt the single currency or remain on the “periphery of Europe”.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (C), Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (L) and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (R) at the start of a European Council meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 13 December: photo - EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

“In front of us is a decision on whether we want to be part of the heart of Europe […] with the common currency at its core, or a peripheral state with its own currency,” Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in Brussels, Thursday, as leaders of the 27 nation bloc agreed a deal at a two-day summit on bank supervision, seen a major step to a greater integrated EU.

Though Poland is still outside the eurozone, PM Tusk said he was happy that non-eurozone countries will now “have an impact at eurozone summits”.

Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt agreed that the deal would still enable non-eurozone countries to have influence in European banking decisions, though the Scandinavian country will not join up to the scheme in the near future.

"To start with Sweden will stay outside […] Swedish taxpayers don't want to cover losses in other countries," he said.

Poland, Sweden and the UK were pleased that the agreement includes clauses where non-eurozone countries cannot be forced into agreements and will have a vote on the European Banking Authority.

Donald Tusk said the decision on whether to join the new deal, which would see 200 of the largest banks in the eurozone coming under the control of the European Central Bank, would be taken when he gets back to Warsaw and has consultations with the Finance Ministry and other financial institutions.

Many of Poland's banks have 'parents' inside the eurozone and the Polish government, along with other non-eurozone countries, were anxious that they should have an influence on decisions taken in Brussels.

Though the centre-right Civic Platform/PSL coalition government in Poland has always said that it aims to join up to the single currency the finance crisis has put back those plans indefinably, and support for the eurozone has fallen in Poland.

PM Tusk said that he would be making wide public consultations on the issue and needs to build a consensus “outside of the coalition” and “among all stakeholders” that joining the eurozone would be in the best interests of the country.

This would not be done “in a few months” however, Tusk added. (pg)

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