An interview with PhD Cezary Mech about feudal habits of the EU, economic expansions of giants, degradation of Poland and a necessity of return to ethics in economy. Wiesława Lewandowska talks with PhD Cezary Mech

WIESŁAWA LEWANDOWSKA: – From the very beginning you are a definite oppositionist of the common currency and the entrance of Poland into the euro sphere. Now, in relation to what is happening in this sphere, you surely repeat frequently: ‘And wasn’t I right’?

PhD CEZARY MECH: – In 2010 during a conference on the euro sphere, I asked for not calling me an euro-skeptic, because it had already come true…My warnings – the academic, not the political ones! – unfortunately, they turned real in practice. It turned out that this euro sphere is not an optimal currency area. Whereas there were many academic works, describing requirements essential for introducing the common currency.

– And weren’t these requirements met?

– It can be said that the realistic knowledge about them has not appeared and is not still appearing among the European societies. In a message approving only the benefits of the common currency, there is a clear lack of an ethical message. It also concerns Poland today, in which all trends of negating ethics are developing in a quicker pace (catching up with Europe). In Poland we observe replacing the caring way of thinking in the interest of the country and the man with a scheme of indifferent political correctness.

– Today you are an euro-pessimistic chairman!

– This pessimism realistically comes from the observations of the trends of the decrease in productivity and development in many countries. This pessimism is caused by dissemination of only political knowledge, hammering false information or false dependencies in people’s minds…Therefore, in my opinion, in fact the humankind is reversing, and the society in highly-developed countries, especially just in Europe, are losing possibilities for development more and more.

– Why is the situation caused? What interests are behind it, if everybody if going to lose anyway? or maybe everybody got lost somehow?

– The western world might have been based on a belief that the countries with more knowledge, that is, a skill of controlling economic processes, experiments and development, in fact, will have the currency in their complete control and in their ownership. It was thought that the division of the world, will be unchangeable in such a way, that more advanced minds and products will be in ‘modern’ western countries for ever, and the simple production in such giants like China, or India. However, it was not possible to achieve it in this way….The giants got free and independent in any respect.

– And Poland has been neither on the side of the ‘giants’ nor the ‘modern’ countries. Are we vegetating?

– The international situation of Poland is quite strange at present and we are somehow to be blamed for it, to some extent. Today, when the eastern ‘giants’ are getting powerful, and the USA are trying to make various alliances (with Russia, Japan, Germany), in order to control the Chinese expansion, our Polish attitude towards America turns out to be not completely effective, because this our main ally was not strong enough to impose its attitude in the defence of Polish interests on Germany and Russia. And, moreover, the USA , if it supported any changes in Poland, it did mainly through people connected with the groups of the Polish newspaper ‘Gazeta Wyborcza’…..and, therefore, one should ask this question now: why has Poland got degraded throughout twenty years? Why didn’t it prevent unbeneficial processes, even if it wanted itself, when it could have done easily?

– Is it too late now?

– The situation has changed radically. Now the German power is taking over the control over the EU, the weakened USA really want Germany not to support Arabic countries against the United States….And all this is happening at the cost of Poland.

– In what way?

– It is visible all the time, not only in economic relations. In the world news it suddenly turns out that the collapse of communism is a German merit (because the symbol is the liquidation of the Berlin Wall, not the Polish movement ‘Solidarność’), that during the Second World War ‘Polish’ death camps, not the German ones, that the anti-Jewish attitude was not among the Germans but among Poles, who still have the same attitude…

– How can this ethical-media-political situation be compared to economic relations?

– If we look at what is happening in the EU through it, we see all these restrictions and regulations which prefer these, not other ventures….It is clearly seen that we are not beneficiaries of possible convergence, that is, catching up with other countries. For example, in the world there is a phenomenon of transferring workplaces to China, because of a cheap labour force. In the EU, for the sake of the interest of highly-developed countries, especially Germany, this process has been inhibited. It is the other way round: Poles, still being the cheap labour force, have to go to other countries. Workplaces are not transferred to cheap Poland.

– But could we be China of Europe?

– In my opinion we could. But we became the anti-thesis of China. In fact we had a kind of productive base, which we were subordinating to degradation gradually; we did not provide the existing enterprises with competition, but day by day we were making them weaker, deliberately causing their collapse. But, although in socialism they were based on different principles, in capitalism they could be gradually built on suitable financial, marketing ‘cells’, not losing a workplace, not losing market. Their development was possible!

– The collapse of Polish ‘obsolete’ enterprises was supposed to give in the place for the modern European…

– And it happened so, but with a big exaggeration. Certainly foreign enterprises should also be present in Poland, but, first of all, as a support and competition on the market. Whereas the whole national market was sold, and it was stated that as Poles brought up in the old system, we cannot manage suitably….Certainly foreign corporations can manage better, but their purpose is not supporting Polish economy. So, they came to a conclusion quickly, that maintaining the productive base in Poland is aimless, that it is better to increase unused productive powers in their own countries….In Poland mainly sale has remained.

– And little western modernity?

– Unfortunately yes, but to our wish. In fact we had our own institutes of investigation and development. They were doomed to a destruction, as useless towards newly opened foreign possibilities. Why to keep them - said foreign advisors – if clever Poles could apply to foreign academic institutions! It resulted in unemployment among scientists in Poland!

– And again it showed that we cannot govern ourselves…

– And because we took a naive attitude to the way of electing the authority elite. We did not consider the fact that in democracy it is important to reach people’s minds.

– However, people were effectively made to believe that there is only one choice, the only correct option, because the rest (that is, what is more from here, Polish) is bad.

– Everybody who really wanted to govern in Poland, simply took over the control over media. Today we do not have any pro-Polish crystalized groups of interests in Poland, because relations with foreign corporations, with their ideas, with their ideologies are superior. We thought naively that capitalism is a definite good.

– The good self-regulating which does not have nationality?

– Yes. And we thought that being supported in this way, we do not have to fight against our weaknesses, we do not have to work hard for our homeland, for ourselves, for family, etc. We thought that others would do everything better for us…

– And now the Polish government is trying to persuade us that it is still worth resigning from independence for the sake of closer European integration. Is it another wrong way of thinking?

– I do not understand why it seems to the governing elites in Poland, that giving the authority to Brussels will solve all Polish problems. And later we will be shocked again, that it is not so, that nobody cares about us, that the main European desire is the good of big corporations, connected with the biggest European economies, mainly the German one.

– ‘The EU collapses towards the feudal system in which lords enslave others’ – this is a quotation from the article in ‘Wall Street Journal’, describing the causes of financial collapse of Cyprus. Do you support this opinion?

– Definitely I do. And here I return to my very early diagnosis. Euro is an artificial currency, which does not serve to interests of all the countries accepting it. A famous economist Paul Krugman even jokes that it was made up so grotesquely so that it would serve, for example, to Poland, like in 1939 the Polish cavalry charge against German tanks….that is, without any more effect, only for superficial improving the mood. Because the rules of the functioning of the euro sphere have already become the anti-thesis of the European solidarity.

– Why?

– Because it is only an instrument which, on the one hand, economically supports Germany very strongly, but on the other hand, it is all about not only economic support, but also the political one. This is Germany which dictate its requirements to Poland. And in this context it is necessary to look for explanations for this all, what is happening in Poland today, what is more and more difficult to understand and what borders with an absurd.

– For example?

– It is all about governmental actions which are completely incompatible with realistic needs, and which are aimed at preventing the results of the demographic crisis. It is known that we lack 3.5 million children for simple replacement of generations, and we do not accept the fact yet or we are not worried. Why didn’t we use the demographic potential earlier and the double demographic boom went away to work abroad? In the recent years we have been willingly getting rid of our own authority instruments and we are getting more and more dependent on our western partner in a more unexpectedly way.

– In your publications you suggest that today we have not such European Germany, but German Europe.

– frankly speaking, it looks as if Germany was domineering the EU, because Germany has never neglected a media discussion concerning its national and state interests. In this issue they remained strongly convinced. Neither has it neglected its own parliamentary control; German legislative processes did not undergo the superiority of the European legislation. Whereas all others are coming to Brussels in order to hear what decisions of the EU are…

– Why couldn’t other countries take care about their interests, like Germany has done it?

– Here it is hard to accuse only those countries of neglects, of lack of enough vigilance, of caring about comfort, or even of stupidity. The fact is that for various reasons they were not able to oppose to oligarchy of the European economy. Corporations, through a suitable lobbing, caused introducing legal regulations in particular countries and in the EU, beneficial for themselves. However, any kind of supervisory institutions appeared to be helpless because of being dominated by people connected with the corporations.

– And this all because of deficiency of this ethical solidarity which was supposed to characterise the Union?

– Yes, indeed. It will be possible to bring each of the problems, each of the events of the present crisis of the euro sphere to the ethical level easily. Maybe in Poland this tearing off one’s own tissue is more intensive than in other countries, because undoubtedly, we are dealing with stronger demoralisation of Poles who are becoming more a subject of politics than an independently thinking subject.

– In one of columns in ‘Stefczyk info’ you write that in Poland it is going to be an apathy for at least the nearest half a century. Why?

– Because it is already known that we do not have the so-called replacement of generations – less and less Poles will enter the productive age, generating the national income, giving a perspective of inner market development. Now it is already seen that in Poland there will be more and more consumers but less and less producers…In the perspective of the nearest 50 years, it will be necessary to decrease pensions by three times, or to increase taxes by a few times. Poles will escape from the country more and more quickly…

– And won’t it be possible to stop this process? Will we have to rely only on a miracle?

– We may…But stop believing thoughtlessly, as soon as possible, in the fact that the absolute good for us is everything which we receive from the West, but return to the roots, take a rosary, start praying. Because if we believe that God exists, it is just Him who is able to do a miracle…But, first of all, we need to think, in order not to believe in false revelations, false prophets, especially the political ones. * * *

Cezary Mech – PhD in economy (PhD studies at UESE University in Barcelona), a politician, an academic teacher, a publicist. He co-created and worked in many institutions dealing with finances and supervision over financial markets. He was, among the others, a chairman of the Office of supervision over Pension Funds (1998-2002), a vice-minister of finances (2005-2006), and a deputy director of the office of the Seym, at present he is the chairman of the Agency of Social Ratings

The second part of the interview in the next edition


"Niedziela" 17/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl