Polish minister reiterates wish to join euro, when the time is right

Poland’s foreign minister has said his nation still wishes to join the euro, but only after the countries already using it have solved their significant current problems.

In an interview with Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, Radoslaw Sikorski has also suggested combining the roles of head of the European Commission and the council.

The present incumbents – José Manuel Barroso und Herman Van Rompuy – come to the end of their terms in autumn 2014.

Sikorski rejected assertions that merging the roles was too ‘courageous’ a suggestion for such difficult times.

“In times of crisis we must, before all else, rebuild trust and in this crisis it is only superficially about money. It is just as just as much about credibility. To rebuild trust among Europeans we must make Europe governable.”

Sikorski added the joint head of the EC and council – in his vision – would be elected, either by Europe’s parliament or by its populous.

Despite the Eurozone’s significant difficulties, and views among some that its leaders are not well enough equipped to solve them, Sikorski said: “We want to join this zone. We are not like some countries that have negotiated an ‘opt-out’ for themselves.

“We have committed ourselves to introduce the euro – we are contractually obliged to do this – and Poland’s populous has backed this in a referendum. For that reason we have a vital interest in the rules of the Eurozone, and we have insisted that the fiscal pact structure takes notice of our voice where the architecture of the Eurozone is involved.”

Sikorski added Poland supports common rules for bank regulation and “consequences” for those nations that break the stability pact.

“But we believe that everything should be constructed in such a way that new members are encouraged to join.”

Sikorski said Greece should take heart in its national crisis from the experience of former Communist nations that had to undergo some similarly severe reforms as those expected of Athens now.

“It appears to me that encouraging signs for Greece come from [the experiences of] East Germany, and Estonia, Slovakia and Poland, which are now growing impressively. If we could achieve that, then Greece can, too,” Sikorski said.

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