[b]RZ: Does the GDP rise in Q2 mean that we are already overcoming the crisis? [/b]
Waldemar Pawlak: This means that there is no recession and evokes hope that in this and the next year we will report economic growth. It is very important to consider the situation in the context of regional cooperation. We talked to many partners in Krynica. At a time of the crisis, such cooperation can be developed more efficiently.
[b]If the government assumes economic growth for the next year, are the economists’ forecasts confirming that we will suffer from the crisis not come true?[/b]
A lot will depend on the world situation. Last year in Krynica nobody expected that such an economic tsunami would happen. In the first half of 2008 energy raw materials became more expensive, financial and economic processes cumulated, and the crisis occurred. The Polish economy is diversified internally. The weakening of the zloty worked as a kind of absorber and it turned out that we were the only European country to report the economic growth.
[b]What about the deficit? PLN 52 billion is a giant budget hole.[/b]
We have to pay attention to the whole world. Other countries invested a lot of money to save their companies. In Poland it was not necessary. And we should not take such a dramatic approach, as the deficit level did not surprise analysts.
[b]So was the decision not to increase taxes right? [/b]
There are various sources of funds. A major increasing factor was consumption demand, which is strictly connected with the decrease in taxes. We must stick to this, especially if we want to keep minimum remuneration at the level of 41-42% of average remuneration. It is important to make demand the basis of the future economic growth.
[b]Do you take into account the pessimistic scenario regarding gas negotiations? [/b]
We will conduct negotiations, but we assume the possibility that no compromise will be made. Our analyses confirm that in Poland there is no threat of running out of the natural gas. Both Gaz-System and PGNiG are prepared for emergency options. However, it will be extremely important to develop such a strategy that can protect households from the gas market crisis.
[b]Do you expect public acceptance of the nuclear power plant? Even if the power plant as such does not cause controversy, nuclear landfills do.[/b]
This is a long-term prospect. Now we are conducing analytical activities. There are various possibilities, such as underground landfills. In this respect we need to consider the best world practices. I would also encourage discussion on whether we want to use old and well-proven technologies, or look for the newest ones. I mean high-temperature reactors that ensure efficient storage of the coal which, in Poland, seems to be really worth considering.