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Andrzej Olechowski

He's shaking up Polish politics. In just a few months, Andrzej Olechowski, 54, has managed to create a new center-right movement that has raced up the rankings to become the second most popular party in the country. The group, called Platforma Obywatelska, or Civic Platform, already enjoys the support of some 18% of Poland's voters: The most popular party is the center-left Democratic Alliance, with 40% support.

Olechowski, who has a PhD in economics from the Warsaw School of Economics, is pushing a program for Poland's middle class. "Our big task is to boost the entrepreneurial spirit among the people, who are enslaved by bureaucratic procedures," he declares. He favors reforms to make it easier for employers to hire part-time workers. And he wants lower corporate and personal taxes. If Civic Platform can gain a chunk of seats in parliamentary elections on Sept. 23, Olechowski may put his stamp on Poland's economy.

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