Sunday, November 13, 2011

Poland, the new member states and the financial crisis

I am getting seriously tired of referring to countries that entered the EU in 2004 as the new member states. There has to be a better way.

The point of this post, however, is to consider an interview with Lech Walesa on the financial crisis. Desi Anwar interviewed Walesa in 2010 and got to hear two key things from him: that Poland weathered the crisis fairly well because it didn't engage in the same kinds of banking practices as in the West, and that dealing with the crisis requires strong international cooperation.

One could add to the list of reasons why Poland is not the source of speculation: it isn't in the euro, and it has had robust public finances. Part of the consequence, however, was a strong emigration of Poles to other countries during the lean years, due to the lack of economic opportunity at home. Austerity has its costs as well.

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