April 18. 2024. 9:04

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Most Poles don’t want the euro, poll shows

Nearly 70% of Poles do not want their country to join the eurozone, with voters of the conservative PiS the most sceptical according to recent polls.

The poll conducted by United Surveys for Wirtualna Polska shows that 66.8% of Poles would prefer to keep the zloty rather than adopt the euro, and almost half are “definitely against” joining the eurozone. Only 27.3% support the introduction of the European currency.

Eurozone accession continues to enjoy relatively low support among Poles 20 years after the country joined the EU, with citizens particularly worried about rising prices for basic goods and fiscal policy becoming dependent on decisions taken in Brussels, the survey reads.

Scepticism about joining the eurozone does not depend on political affiliation either, as voters from the nationalist opposition and the pro-EU parties in the current governing coalition led by Donald Tusk are both sceptical.

Half of the voters of the ruling alliances, the Civic Coalition (KO, EPP/S&D), the Third Way (Renew/EPP) and the New Left (S&D), oppose adopting the EU currency, while only 37% support such a decision.

Voters of the conservative opposition parties Law and Justice (PiS, ECR) and the largely anti-EU Confederation have a much more negative perception of the euro, with only 4% wanting to join the eurozone and 95% against.

Contrary to public fears, many economists believe that joining the eurozone would bring Poland significant economic and political benefits.

“As a member of the eurozone, Poland could more effectively fight to shape its economic governance system in a way that would be more responsive to security issues,” said Agnieszka Smoleńska of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Paweł Tokarski of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik wrote in a report published by the Polish think-tank Reform Institute.

While Czech President Petr Pavel recently called adopting the single currency “logical” for Prague, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has not announced any efforts to introduce it, despite a deepfake TikTok post that gained popularity in January that suggested otherwise.

For now, Poland cannot join the eurozone because it does not fulfil the convergence criteria, including price stability, sound public finances, exchange rate stability, and long-term interest rates.

Only seven EU countries have retained their national currencies: Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden.

But the trend is clear, Agnieszka Cianciara of the Polish Academy of Sciences told a conference organised by the private Reform Institute last September.

She noted, “Bulgaria is clearly embarking on this course, and Sweden is returning to the debate about joining the eurozone.”

(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | Euractiv.pl)

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