Komorowski Seeks to `Shore Up' Voter Support as Poland Cuts Budget Deficit

Poland’s government should fend off calls for radical spending cuts and “shore up voter support” as it seeks to slash the budget deficit, President Bronislaw Komorowski said.

The Cabinet should aim for “some savings” and eliminate unnecessary spending, Komorowski said in an interview with the Warsaw newspaper Rzeczpospolita. While some taxes may be raised, revenue should be increased “mainly” though state assets sales, he said.

The government, led by Komorowski’s Civic Platform party, is struggling to narrow the budget deficit to the European Union target of 3 percent of gross domestic product by 2012 after it swelled to 7.1 percent last year. The opposition says the government is delaying spending cuts ahead of local government elections later this year and a parliamentary vote in 2011.

“Radical changes are demanded by those who hope the Civic Platform will crack its teeth and lose elections,” Komorowski told Rzeczpospolita. “I think it is possible to combine political interests with reforms. We need to look for solutions that in the medium- or short-term will shore up voter support.”

Komorowski, 58, also said his “economic liberalism is limited” and that is why he supports seeking “mixed solutions to overhaul public finances, keeping in mind that Poles have a very thin safety cushion, much thinner than Western Europeans.”

Komorowski was elected July 4, giving Civic Platform control of the presidency and Cabinet and ending policy divisions that arose under late President Lech Kaczynski, who died in an April 10 place crash. The president has a legislative veto that requires a three-fifths vote to overturn.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dorota Bartyzel in Warsaw at dbartyzel@bloomberg.net

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