Central Banking

Balcerowicz proposed for Polish central bank chief

Poland's president on Thursday named Leszek Balcerowicz, the architect of the country's free market reforms in the early 1990s, as his candidate to become the new central bank chief, the presidential press office said.
Poland's president on Thursday named Leszek Balcerowicz, the architect of the country's free market reforms in the early 1990s, as his candidate to become the new central bank chief, the presidential press office said.

"Balcerowicz is the author of Poland's economic success. If he wins parliament's approval, which is very likely, he will be a good central bank governor," said Andrzej Potocki, spokesman of the liberal Freedom Union (UW), which Balcerowicz leads.

Balcerowicz, 53, plans to quit politics to take the top banking post, being vacated by Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, who assumes a job at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in January.

President Aleksander Kwasniewski backed Balcerowicz after the former finance minister secured support from the ruling Solidarity bloc (AWS), UW's partner in a government coalition until June.AWS officials say the UW will back the 2001 budget draft proposed by their minority government in exchange for supporting Balcerowicz's efforts to win the six-year presidency of the National Bank of Poland.

Balcerowicz's candidacy is expected to clear parliament in a vote later this month as AWS and UW command more than 231 votes in the 460-seat lower house of parliament.

Balcerowicz, finance minister in 1989-1991 and 1997-2000, is admired by international investors for his determination in pursuing tough policies which helped to put Poland on a fast economic growth track and on the road to European Union entry.

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