Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Poland wants to join eurozone 'as soon as it's safe'

From Jim Boulden, CNN
updated 12:53 PM EDT, Thu May 3, 2012
  • Poland is the European Union's fastest growing economy
  • Poland's finance minister says the country wants to join the eurozone
  • Finance minister Jan Vincent-Rostowski says the eurozone must be "repaired"

Warsaw, Poland (CNN) -- Poland, the European Union's fastest growing economy, wants to become a member of the eurozone -- but its finance minister says the country will wait until "it is safe to do so."

"We want to join (the eurozone)," Jan Vincent-Rostowski told CNN. "I think we feel that there is still a lot to be done and the eurozone has a lot of homework to do."

The minister says the eurozone must be "repaired" and that there is more work to be done. "We are very concerned, we think half the job has been done, but we are still not entirely out of the woods," he said.

He says at the moment there is no real safety net when problems arise in the eurozone and there needs to be fewer restrictions on the European Central Bank, for example when it comes to buying government bonds.

"We feel that the so-called firewall is inadequately large and we feel that the freedom of action that the ECB thinks it has is inadequate," he added.

But despite the difficult economic climate engulfing much of Europe, Poland's economy is continuing to grow.

According to Vincent-Rostowski, between 2008 and 2011 Poland achieved a cumulative growth of almost 16% -- double that of the EU's second fastest growing economy, Slovakia.

Regardless of Poland's growth, the country is enacting a policy of austerity. Vincent-Rostowski sees this as the most important part of the country's fiscal policy. He says Poland will reduce the ratio of public debt to gross domestic product this year, and is almost certain that they will eliminate "excessive" public debt.

The finance minister believes his country is well placed should the eurozone's economic prospects improve, or even if they weaken, saying that scenario helps Poland's export performance.

"We are fairly comfortable with both situations," Vincent-Rostowski said. "I am not too concerned one way or another."

Part of complete coverage on
Marketplace Europe
updated 11:31 AM EST, Thu January 16, 2014
Marketplace Europe visits Latvia to see how the Baltic country has made its transition to the Euro from the Lat.
updated 11:30 AM EST, Thu January 16, 2014
CNN's Nina Dos Santos visits Latvia to speak to the country's outgoing Prime Minister and the prospects for the eurozone's 18th member.
updated 11:40 AM EST, Thu January 2, 2014
Malta is the gateway to Europe and on the frontline of the immigration flows. Isa Soares reports from a detention center on the Mediterranean island.
updated 11:41 AM EST, Thu January 2, 2014
CNN's Isa Soares speaks with people on the streets of Valletta who say their country can't cope with more migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
updated 5:06 AM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Malta cannot afford to continue supporting migrants from war-torn countries in its over-crowded detention camps, the country's foreign minister has told CNN.
updated 4:23 PM EST, Thu December 26, 2013
Slow recoveries, bailouts, and youth unemployment. Richard Quest speaks to Europe's top CEOs about the issues of 2013.
updated 4:14 PM EST, Thu December 26, 2013
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to economist Bob Parker about defining moments of 2013 and about what to expect in 2014.
updated 1:15 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
Estonia is setting the pace for other European nations with a thriving economy and its tech industry, according to the Baltic nation's leader.
updated 2:03 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
The Baltic nation of Estonia is developing its oil shale energy reserves in a bid to become energy self-sufficient.
updated 4:25 AM EST, Fri November 29, 2013
Europe must stop being nationalistic if it wants to help a lost generation of workers, the regional boss of U.S. conglomerate General Electric says.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Thu November 14, 2013
Peer at the windows and you'll spot big colorful chairs, plastic plants and a huge bed, but this is no department store.
updated 5:06 AM EST, Tue November 19, 2013
There once was a time, many years ago, when the sounds of bagpipes struck fear into the stomachs of Englishmen.
updated 6:16 AM EST, Mon November 11, 2013
Greece is on the way to economic recovery as investor faith returns to the recession-ridden eurozone nation, an executive at Greece's largest bank has told CNN.
updated 7:00 AM EST, Fri November 8, 2013
Could Greece's famous spice help the country's farmers through a four-year long economic crisis.
updated 9:07 AM EDT, Fri November 1, 2013
One of the masterminds behind the euro says Europe would have suffered a far worse fate if the single currency had never been created.
updated 1:41 PM EDT, Thu October 31, 2013
Nina Dos Santos visits the Dutch city where the European treaty carrying the city's name came into force 20 years ago.
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Fri October 25, 2013
As Spain continues its drive to slash budgets and cut spending, one of the nation's favorite pastimes is under threat as ministers look for ways to boost productivity.
updated 12:17 PM EDT, Thu October 24, 2013
The high commissioner of Brand Spain talks about getting the country back on its fee and attracting business.