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Polish Central Bankers Praise Work With Belka After Leak

Polish central bankers praised working with Governor Marek Belka three days after a leaked tape showed him discussing possible support for the government before next year’s elections and criticizing his colleagues.

The rate-setting Monetary Policy Council’s cooperation with Belka has been “very good,” according to a statement on the central bank website today. After meeting with Belka, members of the 10-person panel pledged to continue protecting the value of the zloty “with the same determination as in the past.”

Confidence in Belka as an independent policy maker has been shaken after Wprost magazine released a July 2013 recording in which he talks to Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz about possible steps to boost the economy and help the government win elections. Rate-setters Adam Glapinski and Jerzy Hausner, the subject of some of some of Belka’s remarks, weren’t at today’s meeting, the PAP news service said.

“The MPC regrets that the governor’s comments, recorded via illegal surveillance, may create the impression the leader of the MPC has become involved in the political cycle,” it said in the statement. “Such involvement would be unacceptable.”

The zloty traded 0.1 percent weaker at 4.1431 against the euro at 4:39 p.m. in Warsaw, falling for a fourth day. Warsaw’s WIG30 Index of stocks rose 0.8 percent, climbing for the first time in five days. The currency and the benchmark stock index posted the steepest intraday drops in three months yesterday.

No Risk

“There was some risk that the MPC’s ability to make decisions and operate may be endangered, but today’s statement shows this isn’t a risk,” Grzegorz Ogonek, a Warsaw-based economist at ING Bank Slaski SA, said by phone. “The statement helps calm the markets and emphasizes that the MPC will take markets into account.”

Earlier today, President Bronislaw Komorowski also met with Belka to talk about his future cooperation with the council. The president’s focus is on shielding the zloty, said Joanna Trzaska-Wieczorek, his spokeswoman.

“The president’s main concern is the stability of the currency and that will be the context for any future steps,” she told reporters.

Belka said yesterday in a TVN television interview that he won’t resign and called the conversation that was leaked “private.” Prime Minister Donald Tusk said yesterday that the contents of the secret recordings didn’t suggest laws had been violated.

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