The Polish miracle
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said this week a couple of remarkable contrasts. "Poland's streets were for decades a symbol of what we had failed." The name of his country they had previously associated with "disorder, poverty and disability." Tusk could go even further: "The Polish economy" and "Polish parliament" were - at least in older German dictionaries - synonyms for mismanagement and anarchy.
And now this: The head of government of a country that had established themselves in recent centuries in the loser and victim is almost permanently down, and announced what has been done over the last three years. 6000 km roads should be in office, constructed or renovated, not a bad plan, says Tusk, but now one of Peile already 8000th This new 180 km highway - for a country with almost no motorways modest, but a start. 44 stations were being modernized, not to mention the provincial airports - here Tusk praised especially the East Polish Rzeszow, which now has a direct connection to New York.
But not enough. In 2006 only 40 percent of children had had a nursery place, now some 125 000 had been newly created, and in two years will be at 80 percent his. "Practically every day," arises somewhere in the province of a new sports facility for children and young people. Even the National Health Service - now a sore point - hopefully one day will be "at European level". Anyway: The prime minister was one of the successes that Poland is the pressure of a "global lobby" (he meant the drug companies) stood as the only country in the world bought a swine flu vaccine and keep at the end so opinionated.
And so on and so forth: the abolition of conscription, withdrawal from Iraq, have begun construction of LNG terminals, planning the first nuclear power plant, successful privatization policy, good absorption of EU funds. Even the unexpected problems the last two years had survived the country: the financial crisis, the flooding in the summer, their losses totaled 0.8 percent of gross domestic product, and the crash of government aircraft in the spring. "The Polish democracy, the state, citizens have passed their test."
This all smells a little to the election campaign and may it be. On Sunday, the city and municipal councils, mayors and regional parliaments (Sejmik) elected. Surprises are expected? Actually, only one: Most of the town fathers and mothers can, especially in major cities, expect their re-election. Poland's cities and regions, not least because of EU accession, financially and psychologically experienced a major boost. Tusk presented itself during his speech before a wall full of photos that showed all Polish sites. Whether all these projects are specifically credited to his government, it is debatable, but one thing is indisputable: by Poland has been a move, the country is advancing with giant strides.
This showed the Prime Minister and humility is not his team have these opportunities, "as they arise in a thousand years, only once" created. But can it help she wanted. The window of opportunity is narrow: Poland had a "middle way" to go between necessary spending restraint on the one hand and a dynamic investment policy on the other, "without falling into the debt spiral in which more than half of EU countries is now added. And the window could close it quickly. Everyone knows in Warsaw: If the political mistakes of the one and national self-interest of others in the EU to continue further, Poland could fall into the role of the weeping third parties. The flow of EU funds could one day be much thinner.
Chancellor Angela Merkel advertises these days with an ad: No country has survived the crisis as well as Germany. With all due respect: This time, the often underestimated neighbors to the east have the edge. "Catch up Europe before Tusk announced in his speech as the target. No kidding: Poland is on the way there.
One thing nobody can deny is that the Tusk gang is a master in the poltical PR and image-marketing department. The prickly Kaczyński has regularly provided the ruling clique with opporutnities to come across as the more moderate, restrained and sensible ( as well as slick and glib) side of whatever row happens to be raging.