Tuesday

19th Nov 2019

Romney: EU should look to Poland for economic model

  • Romney's visit to Poland culminated a week long foreign tour also taking in the UK and Israel (Photo: Mitt Romney)

US presidential candidate Mitt Romney has described Poland as an economic model for Europe in the financial crisis.

Speaking at the Warsaw University Library in the Polish capital on Tuesday (31 July) he said: "Today, as some wonder about the way forward out of economic recession and fiscal crisis, the answer ... is 'Look to Poland'."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 year's of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

He noted that the Polish economy "last year outperformed all other nations in Europe."

He attributed Polish growth to its embrace of free market capitalism and budgetary discipine.

"Yesterday, one of your leaders shared with me an economic truth that has been lost in much of the world: 'It is simple. You don't borrow what you cannot pay back'," he said.

"Rather than heeding the false promise of a government-dominated economy, Poland sought to stimulate innovation, attract investment, expand trade and live within its means ... the principles of free enterprise can propel an economy and transform a society."

The speech tugged at the heart-strings of Polish history.

Romney celebrated Warsaw's uprising against Nazi occupation in 1944 and devoted large parts of his speech to the role of the late Polish Pope, John Paul II, in the overthrow of Communism in the 1980s.

He also took a swipe at modern Russia, saying "once-promising advances toward a free and open society have faltered."

His visit to Poland culminated a week-long foreign tour also taking in the UK and Israel.

After annoying British press by criticism of London's Olympic efforts and causing an outcry by denigrating Palestinian culture, the Polish leg of the tour also had problems.

Commentators saw his speech as a cold-blooded attempt to woo the votes of the 10-million-or-so Polish-origin Americans back in the US. They also noted he said nothing about lifting US visa requirements for Poles.

Meanwhile, his spokesman, Rick Gorka, yelled at US journalists to "kiss [his] ass" after they heckled Romney during his visit to a Polish military memorial.

In a sign the eurozone debt crisis is beginning to play an ever larger role in the US election campaign, President Barack Obama this week also portrayed himself as a leading player in solving Europe's problems.

On Tuesday, he telephoned Italian leader Mario Monti to "[ask] for his views on the situation on the eurozone and on likely developments," according to an Italian government statement.

In a campaign speech in New York on Monday, he said: "I don't think ultimately that the Europeans will let the euro unravel. But they are going to have to take some decisive steps."

"I'm spending an enormous amount of time trying to work with them - and [US treasury chief] Tim Geithner is spending a lot of time working with them - to recognise that the sooner they take some decisive action, the better off we're going to be."

Ireland down, Poland up in EU wealth count

New statitsics have highlighted the wealth gap in the EU, with Luxembourg and Bulgaria at either extreme of the divide and Ireland and the Baltic states sliding down the scale.

Analysis

Eurozone crisis spooks US election

Obama is working the phones with eurozone leaders as the euro crisis threatens his re-election. Meanwhile, his populist opponent has cast Europe as a bogeyman, saying the US could become Greece.

EU agrees 2020 budget deal

EU governments and the parliament agreed in marathon talks ino next year's budget - which will boost spending on climate, border protection, and the European satellite system. It will also be a benchmark if there is no long-term budget deal.

EU and China agree to defend 'gastronomic jewels'

Manchego cheese, Panjin rice and Polish vodka will all be protected under a new EU-China agreeement. But the two trading giants continue to struggle over other trade-related deals.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary, Poland block EU conclusions on rule of law
  2. France: wide EU backing for enlargement change
  3. EU Council calls for policy action to protect marine life
  4. ECJ: Poland's judicial independence in doubt
  5. Suspected 'middleman' in Caruana Galizia case arrested
  6. European populists more favourable to Russia
  7. Hungary's new commissioner approved by MEPs
  8. Balkan coal power plants fail to meet emissions targets

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  3. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  5. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  6. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  7. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  9. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us