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September 30
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Poland is heading toward recession, its currency is depreciating, and inflation is among the highest in the EU, but the head of the country's central bank has other concerns.

The danger for Poland lurks in Berlin and Brussels, Central Bank of Poland Governor Adam Glapinski warned in an interview with the right-wing Gazeta Polska. Germany seeks in one form or another to reclaim its former lands, which are now within Poland's borders, and to subjugate this whole belt of countries between Germany and Russia, Glapinski said, referring to the territorial settlement after World War II, when some East German territories were given to Poland.

He warned that Berlin's designs are being promoted by Donald Tusk, leader of the Civic Platform, Poland's main opposition party, as well as former Polish prime minister and president of the European Council, Politico wrote.

It has been said for a year now that the task set by Brussels for Tusk is not only that he overthrow the existing Polish government and put the country on course for the eurozone, Glapinski said. Once the tasks are accomplished, Tusk should return to Brussels, become head of the European Commission, and begin an accelerated effort to create a European state.

All of this is part of Berlin's broader scheme to take control of the continent, Glapinski warned. In an earlier interview, Glapinski said Tusk was sent with a plan to incorporate Poland into the German European empire.

Tusk is no fan of Glapinski and promised that if the opposition wins the next election, Glapinski will be out of a job.

Adam Glapinski is not only incompetent. Adam Glapinski is also illegal, Tusk said at a party rally last month.

But for now, Glapinski is firmly in charge of the National Bank of Poland, and he claims that the European Commission is in cahoots with Germany and acting against Poland's nationalist government, led by the Law and Justice Party (PiS). Glapinski says that this is why the EU does not pay out 35 billion euros in loans and grants from the pandemic recovery fund.

Brussels says that to get the money, Poland must meet agreed-upon "milestones" and undo changes to the judiciary that were thought to put it under political control, but Glapinski and PiS supporters argue that the Commission is playing politics.

The EU wants to pass this money on to the next government, the central bank governor said.

He added that what particularly irritates Brussels and Berlin is that Poland is a success story.

Having a sovereign central bank, their own currency, the zloty and their dynamic economic development is what annoys them the most, Glapinski said. Poland agreed to switch to a single currency when it joined the EU in 2004, but the current government wants to stick with the zloty.

The latest figures show that Poland's economy is far from dynamic.

Poland's statistics agency reported Wednesday that GDP grew at an annualized rate of 5.2 percent in the second quarter of this year, up from 8.5 percent in the first quarter. The 2.3 percent contraction from the previous quarter puts Poland in last place on the list of EU economies, according to Eurostat.

Economic activity is slowing down. It may not be an emergency yet, but growth is slowing noticeably, writes the chief economist at the Lewiatan Employers' Confederation.

The news caused the zloty to fall against the dollar and the euro. The Polish currency has fallen 14 percent against the dollar this year and 3 percent against the euro.

The economy will continue to slow, causing problems for the central bank. It's too late to start raising interest rates when inflation started rising last year; the bank's benchmark rate is 6.5 percent and annual inflation was 15.5 percent in July. But an unexpectedly sharp slowdown in growth means that any further interest rate hikes could exacerbate the recession.

"All this means that it is becoming increasingly difficult to count on further rate hikes in Poland," said Piotr Poplawski, an economist at Poland's ING Bank Śląski.

The shortage of billions of euros from the EU, a slowing economy and high inflation create potential difficulties for the PiS as the party prepares for parliamentary elections next year.

According to Glapinski, as Brussels and Berlin increase pressure on Warsaw, the stakes are huge. "We must hold out, we must win, we must keep the zloty, we must keep a patriotic government so that in 10 years we can sit at the table with the Germans, the French, the Italians and everyone else as equals," he said.

The central bank did not respond to a request for comment on Glapinski's interview, which he published on his web page.

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