Sunday, 7 August 2016

Sick of politics

One down, four to go. Counting down days until the end of his term and wishing him good health.

One of keystone vows of Mr Duda as a candidate was to convert toxic foreign currency mortgage loans to PLN at the rate at which they had been taken out. As the problem is quite intricate, it has been tackled by a dedicated task force several times. The first proposal of loan conversion into PLN at “fair rate” was unveiled in January 2016, another “draft” of set of measures to ease CHF-mortgage-ridden debtors was laid out in June 2016. Last week the president’s experts finally presented the draft law whose core element is the obligation for banks to refund the borrowers overcharged spreads…

YES WE CAN’T, one would love to paraphrase Barack Obama’s campaign slogan. After several promises to bail out borrowers (majority of whom are either well-off and their only problem is that their properties cannot be sold, or are suckers who wanted to outwit their fellows indebted in the domestic currency) the final scheme has been grossly whittled down in comparison to what had been pledged. Yet, as Mr Dera sincerely confessed, perception of a candidate differs from perception of an incumbent president.

Thanks to the new scheme hapless debtors will see principals of their loans decline by the amount of spreads overcharged at disbursement and at each instalment payment until August 2011, when anti-spread law came into force. Essentially, if you look at this detail, president Duda’s task force’s proposal is just the extension to the banking law amendment enacted by PO-PSL government (and initiated by former president Komorowski in the wake of soaring CHF in mid-2011) since it applies to payments between banks and borrowers made between January 2000 and August 2011.

So far no one has mentioned the risk of new law’s illegality. It needs to be noted though banks had charged FX-debtors excessive spreads, or simply had ripped them off, they had done it within the letter of law (there had been no limits on spreads) which in principle is not retroactive. Yet with constitutional tribunal brought to the heel, this should no longer be a concern.

Even if the total cost for banks in Poland reaches PLN 10 billion, the burden will be bearable and will not shake stability of the financial system. “Ensnared” borrowers are let down by Mr Duda’s scheme, while the refund of overpaid spreads will in fact constitute a transfer of wealth from banks’ stakeholders (not only shareholders but also clients) to a relatively wealthy group of PO and Nowoczesna’s electorate who will have their mortgage loans prepaid (or if they have paid off their debt, they will receive cash).

The 72nd anniversary of Warsaw Uprising outbreak was marked by a dispute to who the homage should be paid at W-hour. A handful of insurgent were called to minister Macierewicz’s office and forced to agree to a compromise that the full list of 96 fatalities of Smolensk air crash would not be read out, instead names of five persons involved in nurturing the remembrance of the Uprising would be read out.

The presence of Smolensk tribute during each and every event assisted by the army not only contributes to denigrating remembrance of 96 Tu-154 passengers who died in the tragic transport accident, but also is the top point on the agenda of rewriting the history.

Besides, the PiS-inspired industry of hatred is running at full steam. The two victims are 99-year-old general Scibor-Rylski accused of collaboration with communist secret services in post-war years and Zbigniew Galperyn. Beyond all doubt general Scibor-Rylski did co-operate in these bleak times, however by all accounts the collaboration was tactical and did not harm anyone. The campaign against Mr Galperyn kicked off just recently, after he criticised combining commemorations of Warsaw Uprising and Smolensk air crash and is backed by no evidence, a similar article could be written about anyone doing anything.

Actually it does not matter whether they collaborated with communist regime before 1989. Many today’s zealous supporters (Jerzy Zelnik) and politicians (Stanisław Piotrowicz) of PiS did it and their past does not disqualify them out of public discourse. What only matters is one’s attitude towards PiS today. The moment you firmly oppose against what knights of dobra zmiana pursue is the moment before the mud-slinging machine is set in motion.

Seven years after this pledge, my approach to the Warsaw Uprising has not changed. I still pay homage to inhabitants of Warsaw who valiantly fought against the Nazi occupier and to civilians who either lost their lives in the Uprising or endured probably the biggest humanitarian catastrophe in the history of Poland. I am sick when I see people who show off how they pay tribute to the insurgents, use the W-hour anniversary as an opportunity for lansik or when public figures attempt to capitalise on the anniversary. Commemorate, but not celebrate. Stop for a minute, in silence, with your head down and be thankful you live a in free, peaceful country.

Meanwhile, first serious cracks can be seen among affiliates of the ruling party who have relished on power. Backdrop of the decision to oust Mr Kurski from the public TV broadcaster’s CEO seat and then to defer his departure by nearly three months laid bare clashes between coteries. Unlike some of you may think, supporters of PiS are not a uniform group. Gazeta Polska entourage is not fond of wSieci / wPolityce and the other way round. The two entourages have also little in common with priest Rydzyk’s empire, not as influential as in 2005-2007. Just read Toyah’s blog to learn more. He often gripes about Rafał Ziemkiewicz, Tomasz Terlikowski and moans how other accolades of PiS hinder the good cause.

Quarrels between coteries do not herald break-up of the wide front of PiS supporters, yet the more perceptible they are, the more they remind Poles PiS politicians are no different than their predecessors, they go back on promises and become corrupt by power

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