UPDATE 2-Greek crisis to delay Polish euro plans-c.banker

(Adds analyst quotes, background)

WARSAW, May 6 (BestGrowthStock) – Poland’s euro adoption plan will
be delayed by Greece’s debt crisis, the central bank’s deputy
head told broadcaster TVN CNBC on Thursday.

Witold Kozinski, the first Polish official to publicly
suggest the crisis could impact his country’s euro plans,
declined to specify when Poland might join the common currency
but said it would enter the euro zone eventually.

The European Union’s largest post-communist economy, which
in 2008 said it would like to join the zone in 2012, dropped a
fixed target date after the global financial crisis struck,
sharply cutting its growth and driving up its public debt and
budget deficit.

“Certainly Poland’s euro adoption will be delayed, also due
to events in Greece,” said Kozinski. “However, (euro adoption)
will happen.”

The government will take the decision on euro adoption but
needs the active cooperation of the central bank to press ahead.

Analysts polled by Reuters believe Poland could enter the
single currency bloc in 2015. They have also increasingly cast
doubt on whether the centrist government has the political will
to meet tough euro zone criteria, especially on deficits.

“I think that the euro plans may be delayed not because of
the Greek turmoil but because of our domestic problems, mainly
meeting the fiscal Maastricht criteria,” said Piotr Kalisz,
chief economist at Citibank Handlowy in Warsaw.

“I don’t think the ruling party aims to make the crucial
fiscal reforms needed for meeting the criteria any time soon. We
have parliamentary elections next year and we will see what
happens afterwards.”

“Politicians will always find a reason to postpone reforms
because there’s never a good time for making them,” he added.

The European Commission said in a report released on
Wednesday that Poland’s budget deficit would stay at around 7
percent of gross domestic product next year, more than twice the
3 percent ceiling set by the Maastricht Treaty.

Most analysts are sceptical about government plans to reduce
the deficit to below 3 percent by 2012.

Poland and other Eastern European currencies have been
hammered this week by a general selloff after euro zone
policymakers warned of contagion if Greece’s debt crisis is not
resolved. [ID:nSGE644093]

The zloty (PLN=: ) (EURPLN=: ) has shed some 8.8 percent to the
dollar and 4.5 percent against the euro since the beginning of
the week as spillover fears hit the currency.

Protests in Athens against austerity measures attached to
the rescue package caused the death of three people, underlining
the difficulties Greece faces in solving its debt crisis.

The head of the Romanian central bank on Thursday reiterated
his country’s intention to join the euro zone in 2014-2015.

“The central bank still believes that the 2014-2015 deadline
to join the euro is a positive target because it acts as a
catalyst to enforce correct economic policies,” Governor Mugur
Isarescu told a news conference.

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(Reporting by Patryk Wasilewski and Dagmara Leszkowicz;
editing by Ian Jones)

UPDATE 2-Greek crisis to delay Polish euro plans-c.banker