Kwasniewski calls for euro referendum in Poland
PR dla Zagranicy
Former president Aleksander Kwasniewski says a nationwide referendum is needed before Poland considers entering the eurozone and adopts the European single currency.
Aleksander Kwasniewski (left) with former president of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek at Torun forum: photo - PAP/Tytus Żmijewski
“The euro will be yet another milestone in our history, not only a replacement of the [national currency] zloty with the euro, with all its consequences, but above all as a political change for Poland,” Kwasniewski said at an economic forum in Torun, central Poland.
Kwasniewski, president of Poland from 1995 to 2005, added that by entering the eurozone Poland will join a “first-speed Europe” and be part of the group of countries which decide on the future of the European Union.
Introducing the euro requires changes in the Polish Constitution and in Kwasniewski’s view there is no chance for such a move before the next parliamentary election, scheduled for 2015.
A serious debate on the matter should be held before then, the former president said.
“Those at the helm of government today are reluctant to talk about a referendum on the euro. As someone who’s been in politics for quite some time, I am convinced that sooner or later, such a referendum will be held. More than that, I think it is indispensable, for what is at stake is a decision that should have a strong social legitimization,” said Kwasniewski, who announced his return to front-line politics, last month and will lead a centre-left coalition of parties in the European Parliamentary elections next year.
“I realize that talking about a referendum at a time when 60 per cent of Poles are against the euro poses a risk, but let’s remember that we have several years for a serious debate on the matter,” Aleksander Kwasniewski said.
The Polish government and President Bronislaw Komorowski said last week that a date for entering the eurozone would not be set till after the next general election in 2015. (pg/mk)