Pole Position on new face in race for President and Merkel and Macron’s proposal

Poland IN’s programme discussed changes in the race for the Presidency in Poland and the proposal by President Macron and Chancellor Merkel for the EU to set up a 500 billion Euro recovery fund. Our guests were Łukasz Warzecha (Do Rzeczy) and Aleksandra Rybińska (Sieci).

See full programme here.

There is a new kid on the block in the race for President. The delay in holding the election has allowed the largest opposition party, the Civic Platform, to field Warsaw’s mayor Rafał Trzaskowski instead of Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska. As a result of the change in candidate the fortunes of his party have improved in the opinion polls, but he is still trailing the incumbent President Andrzej Duda by a very large margin. Rafał Trzaskowski is expected to appeal to an upwardly mobile metropolitan electorate, but may struggle to be a hit with voters in rural and small urban areas. The election itself is now to take place in polling stations with postal voting merely an option for those who sign up for it.

The French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have announced a proposal for the EU to raise 500 billion Euro on the financial markets to set up a recovery fund to give grant-based funding to countries hit by the pandemic crisis. It is the first time the two countries have agreed on raising money on a EU wide basis. Poland had proposed that a more ambitious EU budget should be funded from EU-wide taxes. However Scandinavian countries, Austria and the Netherlands are skeptical of attempting to increase the EU budget. The German and French proposal is targeted at offsetting the call from Southern Europe for the mutualisation of debt in the Eurozone.