Saturday, March 2

Adam Glapinski, the Polish banker who swims against the tide


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It is considered the great ‘hawk’ according to that European terminology that contrasts the beautiful and haughty birds of prey to the so-called ‘pigeons’, much more willing to spend based on debt and on the banknote printer of the European Central Bank. But if we stick faithfully to the characteristics of its species, Adam Glapinski could rather be considered a salmon, because it carries swimming upstream since he was appointed Chairman of the National Bank of Poland in 2016. Systematically carrying contrary to the policies of the European Central Bank, Glapinski has capitalized on the fatherhood of the Polish economic miracle, which accumulates a sustained growth of 4.5 percent since 1990, the best GDP figure of all European countries, even

through the financial crisis of 2008.

Glapinski has introduced the 500 zloty banknote (about 109 euros), while the rest of the issuing banks avoided high-value notes, claiming that this way they can more efficiently avoid money laundering. He has even more recently suggested printing 1,000 zloty (217.50 euros) banknotes, explaining that they would serve “So people can put more money in the drawer”, an economically incorrect statement, according to all the current canons that this 71-year-old Warsaw man proclaims without complexes. It belongs to that generation of Poles vaccinated against progressivism in the former Soviet republic and asserts that the factors responsible for the indisputable economic success of his country are “without doubt the ambition, industriousness and energy of the Poles.”

While the European Central Bank refuses to raise interest rates –Despite the rise in prices and for fear that a withdrawal of the stimulus will make it clear that the precarious recovery that the heads of government cackle is largely made of papier-mâché–, Glapinski has decided to raise them three times already, up 1.75 percent, and does not rule out more increases in the coming months. Borrowing money is now more expensive in Poland than before the pandemic, but industrial production is recovering without reservation and Poles look at the shopping basket with less anxiety. Glapinski stands out once more and the accusations that come from Brussels slide, where the institutions reproach this country for an alleged lack of respect for freedom and democratic rights.

In the eighties, GLapinski was a member of the underground Solidarity movement and in 1990 co-founder of the Center Agreement and the Liberal Democratic Congress, a pedigree on which he comfortably secures his positions. And going forward, his message is clear and seamless: “Economic development must go hand in hand with strengthening Poland’s defense capacity” and “reduce emissions and maintain energy security demands a large and stable power source that can only be the nuclear». The threat of Brussels not to send European funds does not seem to make Glapinski tremble, who maintains that they are no longer “the poor relative of Europe”. His mandate lasts until June and he has the support of the government to continue in office, but he admits that the outcome will depend on whether he manages to control the increases in gas and electricity prices from January.

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