Glapinski Says Too Soon to Call Him Aspirant to Lead Polish Bank

Polish central banker Adam Glapinski said it was “too early” to call him a candidate to become the next governor of the monetary authority as he reiterated a warning that the changeover shouldn’t put the bank’s independence at risk.

The 66-year-old economics professor, who has links to the ruling Law & Justice party, has long been seen as one of the leading candidates to succeed Marek Belka, whose term at the helm of the National Bank of Poland ends in June. Standard & Poor’s on Friday unexpectedly downgraded Poland’s credit rating and said it was concerned the central bank could be next after the ruling party moved to increase its sway over public media and the constitutional court.

The downgrade on Friday sent the zloty to its biggest loss since September 2011. The currency gained 0.5 percent to 4.4580 against the euro on Monday, having rebounded after Glapinski said earlier the same day that he was the main candidate for the central bank’s leadership and called the market fluctuations “very short term.”

In addition to the new governor, who will be appointed by President Andrzej Duda, Law & Justice ally, the rest of the rate-setting Monetary Policy Council is also getting a complete overhaul as policy makers’ terms end. The ruling party’s lawmakers in the upper house of parliament have picked three new members to the Monetary Policy Council. Three other members will be voted in by the lower House at the end of this month, while two others will be appointed by President Duda by Feb. 19.

“There can be no doubt that we’ll continue to conduct a stabilizing policy and avoid any imbalances,” Glapinski said in his earlier comments about the bank’s future policy under its new leadership. “It’s going to be a conservative, traditional and classic monetary policy.”

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