Recession in Poland one of ‘shallowest in Europe’: Finance Minister

The Polish economy will have one of the “shallowest” recessions in Europe, Tadeusz Kościński, Poland’s Finance Minister has claimed.

Poland's GDP to grow by 3.5 pct in 2021: World Bank

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In an interview for the Polish Press Agency (PAP), Mr Kościński said that the relative strength of the public exchequer has helped the economy, and that Poland will soon get access to new EU funding.

“Despite significant support for the economy, public finances are in relatively good shape, and our recession will be one of the shallowest in Europe,” the minister said.

According to the estimations of the European Commission, the economies of the EU Member States will shrink, on average, by 7.4 percent, which is almost twice as much as in Poland, where it is expected to decrease by 3.6 percent.

The Polish government has so far allocated over PLN 212 bn (EUR 44.76 bn) for the protection of jobs and the economy, and a further PLN 100 bn (EUR 22.06 bn) has been added to a stimulus package designed to protect firms from the worst of the recession, Mr Kościński added.

He added that the Polish plan for dealing with the crisis “is positively assessed” by leading foreign institutions, including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Poland is also due to receive funding from the new EU budget and a special post-pandemic recovery fund. Mr Kościński added that Poland is working on a partnership agreement in which “we will present how we intend to divide the EU funds up within the cohesion policy and how we will spend them. We are speaking here about a sum reaching over EUR 66 billion.”

According to the minister, the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy is drafting a national recovery plan, “which will allow us to use funds from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility. Here, in turn, we will have EUR 57 bn in grants and loans.”

“These funds will go into entrepreneurship, infrastructure, environmental protection, digitalisation, energy, science, education and social affairs,” Mr Kościński said, adding that Poland hopes that the first funding will reach the economy this year.

Poland is to start consultations with Brussels on the spending of EU funds this month.