Donald Tusk addresses Poland's lower house of parliament (Sejm) on Tuesday: Photo - PAP/Jakub Kaminski
"There should finally be a positive discussion about Poland's opportunities [in the euro zone],” Tusk said prior to a debate about prospective ratification of the EU's fiscal pact, as cited by the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
“This debate should be an opportunity for Poland, and not another curse on Polish politics,” he said.
Tusk added that his government “will strive for Poland to fulfil the criteria needed to enter the euro zone as quickly as possible."
Ratifying the fiscal pact – which enhances the powers of the European Commission over national budgets and finances - is a step in this direction, although its provisions only apply from the date that an EU member state adopts the euro.
Tusk stressed that “above all”, the decision about joining the single currency should be taken “when Poland is 100 percent ready to make a safe entrance into the euro zone.”
Meanwhile, Tusk reflected that the EU's budget for 2014-2020 turned out as resounding success for Poland.
“If we count the money, Poland emerged as a greater victor than any other country in Europe,” he said.
Poland secured 106 billion euros out of the 960 billion budget, with the government arguing in Brussels that the funding represented the country's Marshall Plan (Stalin forbade Poland to receive US funding under the original post-WWII scheme).
“In this respect, without exception, we all have the right to feel satisfaction,” Tusk argued.
However, conservative opposition party Law and Justice was quick to go on the offensive.
MP Krzysztof Szczerski accused the government of falling into “an ecstasy of self-satisfaction” over the EU budget.
Szczerski claimed that Poland had lost “at least 14 million euros” during the Brussels negotiations.
Furthermore, he described the government's draft law concerning ratification of the EU's fiscal pact as “such an awful document that it doesn't bear talking about." (nh)