EU's Almunia backs NBP independence

EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia strongly supported the independence of the Polish central bank.

The head of the Polish central bank (NBP), Leszek Balcerowicz, has come under fierce attack from legislators for his refusal to block the proposed merger of BPH and Pekao, the local units of Italy's UniCredito.

But Almunia said central bank independence is a 'principle' of the EU treaty not only a criterion for euro entry.

'So the (European) Commission will support all