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Polish Opposition Leader Says Cutting Polish Deficit ‘Tough’

It will be “tough” to cut the Polish budget deficit to within 3 percent of gross domestic product next year, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of Poland’s largest opposition party, said today in an interview in Krynica, southern Poland.

The deficit reduction is still “possible,” he added.

The government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said it will lower the general government deficit to within the European Union’s limit of 3 percent of GDP in 2012 from 7.9 percent last year. The budget gap has more than quadrupled since 2007 and exceeded the EU’s ceiling for a third year in 2010. The European Commission has given Poland until next year to exit the so-called excessive deficit procedure.

Poland will be voting in parliamentary elections exactly a month from now. Support for the prime minister’s Civic Platform rose to 35 percent, while backing for Kaczynski’s Law & Justice grew 1 percentage point to 22 percent, a Sept. 1-4 survey of 983 adult Poles found. Relations between the Platform and Law & Justice, a one-time ally, hit a low after former President Lech Kaczynski was killed in a plane crash last year. Kaczynski’s twin brother, the party leader, has said the government is partly to blame for the accident.

According to Kaczynski, concerns expressed by economists and investors in Poland’s assets that he may introduce a looser fiscal policy that would increase the budget deficit and swell public debt further is “an effect of propaganda.”

“When we were in government, Poland’s public finances improved significantly,” he said. “I’m convinced that if we were in government now, they would be in a far better state than they are now.”

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