Tusk’s nomination for the Presidency of the EU caused an outburst of national pride. It caused quite a stir on a political scene. Poles traditionally are longing for praises and recognition. Every success, whether in sports or politics momentarily becomes a national event. This one in particular. We believe that we deserve much more international attention and recognition due to our size and economic position. Even those hostile to Tusk, as his fierce political opponent Jaroslaw Kaczynski of PiS, toned down their criticism.
But no one is as thirsty of praises as the ruling Civic Platform. For many months the party has been struggling with declining popularity. Regardless of relatively good economic news and better standing than most of the Polish neighbors, in recent polls Civic Platform stays far behind opposition. Combination of political arrogance, growing taxes and the “tape scandal”, where Minister of the Interior and the President of the Polish Central Bank were overheard conspiring on using Central Bank to safeguard popularity of the government and win elections.
Tusk’s nomination is a gift from heaven for the party. Not surprisingly, activists and spin doctors immediately presented Tusk’s success a historic gain for Poland and unquestionable party accomplishment. Weekend passed on TV and radio speculations how much Poland can harvest from Tusk’s nomination. Privately, activists expressed hopes, that party could translate EU success to better outcome in the November local government elections. Up till now experts were predicting crushing defeat for the Tusk’s party.
Something what may be a winner for the Civic Platform, for the Polish economy – may be a curse. Tusk’s nomination can significantly improve ratings in the opinion polls, deflecting attention from the needed reforms. Reforming social system, scaling down overblown administration and cutting down the Polish national debt. Our national debt reached already 50 percent of GDP, despite the nationalization of private pension funds, and it is now one of the fastest growing government debts in Europe. Unemployment is stuck at 10 percent, while the market lacks experienced staff due to mass migration – reaching 2 million people.
Tusk’s move-out to Brussels will not trigger any new pro-reform forces within the party. On the contrary, it may lead to the escalation of personal conflicts and further weakening the cohesion of the party. On the other hand any attempt to criticize government could be divested by spin doctors as Polish inferno mudding the national success. Ironically, Tusk’s success and the positive results of the Civic Platform in the November local elections could lead, eventually, to the economic stagnation and disintegration of the governing party.