Dep FinMin says Poland to remain "green island" in EU in 2023

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Poland should remain a “green island” in 2023 and avoid the recession threatening other European countries, with GDP growth estimated at 1.7 percent, a deputy finance minister has told PAP.

Artur Sobon said that the 4.9-percent GDP growth for 2022 reported by the Central Statistical Office (GUS) on Monday was a "very good result."

It followed 6.8-percent GDP growth in 2021, according to GUS.

Sobon went on to say that despite a "hard time" in the years 2020-2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the Polish economy is "to quote the classics, a green island."

"Everything indicates that Poland will remain that green island in 2023 too when we are facing an economic slowdown in the whole of Western Europe, but we will still have economic growth," Sobon said.

The term "green island" was applied to Poland in 2008-09 when it became the only EU country to avoid recession during the financial crisis.

Commenting on the quarter-on-quarter economic downturn, Sobon said that "this is obviously a common phenomenon today" adding that Poland was not threatened with recession, unlike many other countries in Europe, such as Germany.

"There will be economic growth, we estimate it at 1.7 percent of GDP, analysts are a little more cautious here, but using funds for investments, especially funds from the National Recovery Plan (KPO), I believe it is possible for that economic growth to reach close to 2 percent," he said.

Poland is due to get EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in cheap loans from the EU's post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience Facility after the European Commission approved Poland's KPO, which outlines how the government will spend the money.

Sobon added that Poland is in a position to maintain its economic growth assumptions thanks in part to public investment, which has grown by 20 percent year on year.