Reverse Polish logic

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 580_elzbieta-bienkowska    rostocki
Elzbieta Bienkowska    Jan Vincent Rostocki

Elzbieta Bienkowska, Poland’s Minister for Regional Development, announced towards the end of December that the Government regarded EU-funded infrastructure projects as an important tool in preventing a recession in Poland’s economy, and that some 15 billion zloty would be brought forward for spending on infrastructure projects in 2009 – mainly the construction of motorways.

Poland has agreed with the EU to spend 3 zloty on rail infrastructure projects out of every 10 zloty of EU funds spent on infrastructure, so although Bienkowska did not mention rail explicitly, there was reason to hope that there would be a trickle down effect on rail investment.

comparison_cee101EU funding per transport mode. Source UIC

Actually, Poland is barely spending 25% of its EU infrastructure budget on rail, while the Czech Republic and Slovenia are both spending 40%. Anyway, there is now no need to worry that rail won’t be getting a fair share. When Finance Minister ‘Jacek’ Rostocki returned from his extended Christmas-New Year holiday in Britain, he threw a wobbly that Bienkowska had dared to solve Poland’s share of the global economic meltdown without him. He has now come up with his own rescue plan – Poland will need save an additional 20 billion zloty with the majority of the cuts coming from infrastructure projects such as road building.

So that’s all right then.

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